Fairbanks, Alaska has been home to air quality concerns for years. Heat sources like wood boilers emit black carbon, a pollutant akin to soot. In Fairbanks's harsh winters, black carbon is trapped close to the earth and creates health problems for residents. Black carbon has a more global effect as well, however, and climate scientists have recently begun to consider reducing black carbon emissions as a viable way to slow the pace of climate change. Fairbanks is uniquely situated to react to this call for action. Reducing black carbon emissions from wood burning in Fairbanks would not only contribute to the greater fight against climate change, but would alleviate significant local air quality and health concerns. This Comment summarizes the issue of black carbon in Fairbanks, and proposes several legal approaches to mitigate its negative environmental and health effects, including public nuisance claims, local regulations, and stricter compliance with federal environmental laws.

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