Tribal Air Quality in Alaska | Region 10 | US EPA

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Tribal Air Quality in Alaska

Alaska Tribal Air Toolkit

The Alaska Tribal Air Toolkit is a multimedia resource to help address common sources of air pollution in rural Alaska. The toolkit includes videos, fact sheets, and outreach ideas to help raise awareness about air pollution and take action in your community.

Order a free copy of the toolkit for your tribe or organization


Tribes in Alaska face unique challenges to protecting air quality and reducing health risks in their communities:

  • Most Tribes do not have a reservation or defined lands where they can assert jurisdiction to address air quality issues.
  • Frozen ground prevents burying waste in landfills, and many communities resort to burning trash which creates air pollution.
  • Electricity primarily comes from diesel generators which produce particulate and other air pollutants.
  • The cold climate means people spend a lot of time indoors in air tight homes and buildings where indoor air pollution and humidity can rise to unhealthy levels.
  • Many homes have older wood stoves which can be inefficient and create air pollution.
  • Dust from unpaved roads may contain pollutants that can be inhaled or deposited on subsistence food sources.
Watch "Clean Air, Healthy Villages" on YouTube!

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"Clean Air, Healthy Villages"
This video and fact sheet series looks at some of the major air quality issues facing Alaska Native Villages and explores solutions to help Tribal communities address those challenges.


(click on images to play videos)

thumbnail of introduction video

Introduction - This video summarizes five of the major air quality challenges for rural Alaska Native Villages: Diesel emissions; indoor air quality; road dust; solid waste burning; and wood smoke.
Audio transcript (text file)
thumbnail of diesel emissions video

Diesel Emissions - Diesel is used in rural Alaska to produce electricity and fuel boats, vehicles and planes. This video explains how to minimize exposure to diesel exhaust and maximize the efficiency of diesel engines.
Diesel Emissions Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 590K); Audio transcript (text file).
thumbnail of indoor air quality video

Indoor Air Quality - In many Alaskan communities, the cold climate means people spend a lot of time indoors in air tight homes and buildings where indoor air pollution and humidity can rise to unhealthy levels. This video highlights sources of indoor air pollution and how to address them.
Indoor Air Quality Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 506K); Audio transcript (text file).
thumbnail of road dust video

Road Dust - In rural Alaska, ATVs and other vehicles driving on dirt roads contribute to airborne dust that can aggravate respiratory problems, settle on subsistence foods, and contribute to poor indoor air quality. This video explains how to limit the impacts of road dust and protect community health.
Road Dust Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 503K); Audio transcript (text file).
thumbnail of solid waste burning video

Solid Waste Burning - Burning garbage is a common practice in many rural Alaskan communities. However, air pollution from burning waste is hazardous to human health, especially for elders and children. This video explores solutions to reduce impacts of solid waste burning.
Solid Waste Burning Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 529K); Video transcript (text file).


Wood Smoke - Many people in rural Alaska use wood stoves to heat their homes and bath houses. This video summarizes the health impacts from wood smoke and provides step-by-step instructions how to burn "small, dry, and hot" to save fuel and keep the air clean.
Wood Smoke Fact Sheet (PDF) (2 pp, 621K); Audio transcript (text file).

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URL: http://yosemite.epa.gov/R10/TRIBAL.NSF/Programs/tribalairalaska

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