Bill to address inefficient wood stoves

    Fairbanks, Alaska (KINY) Federal funds could be spent to replace old wood stoves with grants from the US Environmental Protection Agency.

    Alaska Republican Lisa Murkowski and Delaware Democrat Sen. Tom Carper introduced a bill that would authorize $75 million for each fiscal year between 2019 and 2024 for the program, the Fairbanks Daily News-Miner reported.

    Air pollution caused by wood-burning has been a problem in the Fairbanks area.

    "Many Alaskans, along with millions of families across the country, rely on wood as an abundant, affordable fuel to heat their homes," Murkowski said in a statement. "Older, inefficient appliances for wood heat can last a really long time, but newer options are better for both our health and the environment."

    The measure would aim to reduce emissions and improve air quality in a cost-effective way.  The new stoves would use the most innovative wood-burning technology.

    The measure would also require that no less than 4 percent of the funds be made available to tribes to use for maintenance and installation of the new stoves.

    About 11.5 million homes use wood as a heat source, and 58 percent of those homes are in rural areas, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau.

    More from News of the North