Local officials have issued an emergency for the entire City and Borough of Juneau due to unhealthy air.
The city is discouraging outdoor aerobic activity until the air quality improves. The declaration also bans open burning and cancels burn permits.
“This is some of the worst air quality that we’ve ever seen, and actually, probably the worst air quality that we’ve ever detected in the city of Juneau,” said Greg Chaney, the city’s lands and resources manager who was involved in the declaration decision.
“These (numbers) are staggering. … Like this weekend, we were getting (air quality index) numbers of 135 – the sort of stuff they were getting in Beijing before the Olympics. But this would be kind of the borderline of where they would call off Olympic events.”
Chaney said the city monitors air quality through a state sensor at Floyd Dryden Middle School. The city’s air quality in recent days has wafted between the Environmental Protection Agency’s orange and red benchmarks. Orange indicates the air is unhealthy for sensitive groups — like older adults and children. Red indicates everyone may have health effects.
Alaska has a lot going on right now.
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- An email from Alaska's former first lady sheds new light on the actions that drove Lt. Gov. Byron Mallott from office, suggesting he may have invited a woman into his room, newly released emails show.
- A new Alaska group hopes to overhaul the state's oil and gas tax credit system through a ballot initiative called the Fair Share Act.
- Alaska regulators are considering whether the state should continue replenishing a rural telephone and internet service fund or shut it down.
- Hunters said the proposed Ambler Road would be closed to the public, while conservationists said it would hurt caribou and other wildlife needed by area villages.