Alaskans care about their environment. Whenever we discuss development and conservation proposals, there is always a discussion about whether our water and air are being protected and whether some industries have a good record protecting our air and water. Or not.
There is a lot of information that helps people form impressions of how our air and water is protected. There are periodic newspaper articles, headlines about some company being fined, advertisements by industry groups about their industry, and charges by interest groups about those industries.
A paper by ISER professor Bob Loeffler uses publicly available EPA data to help us see a more comprehensive view of air and water violations in Alaska. The paper summarizes the types of permits, types of violations, and issues to keep in mind when using these data. It provides a statewide and industry-by-industry view of air and water permits, violations, and compliance. An apples-to-apples comparison of industries provides a useful complement to the fragmented sources of newspaper articles, advertisements, and advocacy-based messaging to help Alaskans think about air and water violations in Alaska. The paper is available from ISER’s publications database.