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Environmental Services

Air Quality Program

Proposed Revisions to the Anchorage Municipal Code - Public Notice

The Anchorage Health Department plans to update the air quality ordinances contained in Anchorage Municipal Code, Chapters 15.30 and 15.35.  The proposed revisions to these chapters include two emission standards that are more stringent than current state or federal regulations: 1.)  a 20% smoke opacity limit for wood burning appliances, and; 2.)  a requirement that any outdoor wood boiler newly installed in the Municipality of Anchorage must be EPA Phase-2 qualified.  Phase-2 qualification indicates that the appliance model meets EPA’s Phase-2 test standard for low emissions of particle pollution.

Posted here you will find a document explaining the Department’s justification for the proposed changes to the ordinances.  The specific wording of the ordinances is presented in Appendix 3 of the justification document.  Also posted here are reports from three independent reviewers who contracted with the Alaska Department of Environmental Conservation (ADEC) to review these proposed ordinances and the Health Department’s justification for them in terms of economics, meteorology and air quality, as well as technological feasibility.  

Comments on these proposed ordinances and the Department’s justification for them will be accepted through May 15, 2014. To submit questions or comments electronically, use the subject line 'Air Quality Ordinances' in an email to  Comments should address the extent that these ordinances are justified due to potential exposure to fine particle pollution within the Municipality of Anchorage and the extent to which these ordinances may or may not be economically or technologically feasible.  Please limit comments to these two ordinances and the justifications for them.  Your comments will serve to inform the Anchorage Health Department Director, the ADEC Commissioner and the Anchorage Assembly as they choose whether or not these ordinances merit approval. If you have questions about the proposed revisions or the public comment process, please call Matthew Stichick in the Air Quality Program at (907) 343-4256. 

We anticipate that the Anchorage Health and Human Services Commission and the AMATS Air Quality Advisory Committee will together host a public hearing on these two ordinances during the week following closure of this public comment period.  This webpage will be updated with notice of the time and location of that public hearing once it has been arranged; please check back here after April 22nd for meeting venue.

"Real Time" Air Quality Data for Anchorage

Get the latest air quality data from stations in Anchorage, Eagle River and the Mat Su. If it is your first time visiting the site, click here. If you are familiar with the site, click Alaska Air Monitoring Network for a direct connection. For a glossary of terms found on the website, click glossary.

Pollen and Mold Counts

Pollen and mold counts have been provided seasonally from May through September. Counts will resume in May, 2014 and be preformed each week on Tuesday and Friday afternoons. Results are reported online and by calling (907) 343-4899.  Find pollen counts for Anchorage.

The Air Quality Program is responsible for various air quality projects within the Municipality of Anchorage. To step through the information and services provided by this program, click on the links on this and succeeding pages. For current air quality conditions you can call our Air Quality Hotline at 343-4899.

Merrill Field Lead Monitoring Study

The Anchorage Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) has completed a one-year monitoring study of airborne lead levels at the Merrill Field Airport.  Merrill Field was one of 15 airports selected by the EPA for lead monitoring.  This monitoring will help determine whether airports serving large numbers of piston aircraft meet new, more stringent air quality standards for airborne lead set by the EPA in 2008. Click here to view the report or an overview of the study can be found on the Merrill Field Airborne Lead Monitoring Fact Sheet.

Anchorage Benzene Monitoring Studies

The Air Quality Program has completed a year-long study of indoor and outdoor benzene levels in Anchorage. Previous studies conducted in Anchorage suggested that levels of benzene in outdoor air and inside homes were higher than those in most of the U.S. An overview of the studies can be found on the Anchorage Benzene Monitoring Studies Fact Sheet.

The full studies can be found at:

Anchorage Outdoor Benzene Study Phase 1

Indoor Benzene Concentrations in Homes with Attached Garages.


Anchorage Air Monitoring Data and Trends report

The Air Quality Program publishes a comprehensive annual report summarizing air quality data and trends. To view the report, please click here. This report is also available in the Alaska Collection of the Loussac Library in Anchorage.

Wind blown dust in front of Pioneer Peak in Palmer. Anchorage can receive dust from the Matanuska Valley on windy days. Photo by Caren del Cioppa and used with permission.

    • Environmental Services
    • Deputy Director/Division Manager: Steve Morris
    • 825 L Street, 3rd Floor, Anchorage, AK 99501
    • 907 343-6976