Starting in February 2015, Tlingit Haida Regional Housing Authority (THRHA) is partnering with the University of Illinois Sustainable Technology Center (ISTC) to monitor both indoor and outdoor air quality in areas that use wood burning appliances to heat their homes.
The ISTC came to Juneau February 10 and 11 to begin training practices for THRHA Field Staff which included 2 employees from Kake, AK and 1 employee from Angoon, AK. After the ISTC team conducted air monitor instrument training in Juneau, the ISTC air monitoring specialists and two THRHA employees from Kake traveled back to Kake to start the field work. The air monitoring field work training will last about 2 weeks. The Illinois team will leave the air monitoring instruments in Kake with our trained crew, and return back to Illinois. Our trained crew will continue to monitor the equipment throughout the year, and send data back to the Illinois team. Training local community members ensures that the air quality testing capacity stays in the communities. There will be pre and post intervention samplings throughout 2 winters of testing on 15 homes per winter, with the first winter of testing happening in Kake, Alaska, February 2015. Next winter will be focused on the community of Angoon.
ISTC will be responsible for:
- Onsite training,
- Developing a test plan,
- Yearly 2 week in field support,
- Analysis and reporting of data,
- Presenting findings and,
- Continual support to THRHA field staff.
THRHA will be responsible for:
- The recruitment of homes in Kake, AK and Angoon, AK who heat their homes with wood heat to participate in the program,
- Conducting field work,
- And stove replacement for qualifying homes.
The purpose of the study is to analyze the effects that wood burning heating and cooking appliances in certain areas of the world that might have an effect on global Climate Change, and to analyze if newer wood-burning technologies can help with air quality.
THRHA’s participation will be to assist the study by:
- Providing up to two local workers from Kake who will get trained on how to operate specialized air-monitoring equipment that will be brought to Kake. Training will start the week of February 9, 2015 in Juneau, then will move to the field in Kake where the equipment will get set up.
- Identify local households in Kake that heat with wood, where air monitoring equipment can get set up.
- Set up a program to install some highly-efficient EPA certified wood heating appliances in certain homes that currently have inefficient appliances, and monitor the air quality changes as a result. These homes must be NAHASDA-eligible.
Studies of disease worldwide state the 3rd highest ranked is household air pollution from solid fuels, which validates the importance of this study. Alaska, specifically the communities of Kake and Angoon, were chosen as part of an international project testing emissions and plausible interventions for all residential solid-fuel use. This project is funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and administered by the University of Illinois’ Civil and Environmental Engineering Department (CEE). CEE reports to the EPA and is in charge of the overall management of the project and supports all teams. Overall, the EPA wants to know impacts of heating stoves on indoor and outdoor air quality.