Community Member

A Citizens Petition

Palmer, Alaska

A Citizens Petition was established in 2024 to inform the people of Fairbanks about the dangers of coal ash, and to advocate for the city’s transition from coal-fired power plants to clean energy. The air quality in Fairbanks has consistently ranked among the worst in the nation, due to a high concentration of pollution sources and the amplifying effects of cold weather, which causes dangerous particulate matter to linger. For decades, Fairbanks has failed to meet the EPA’s air quality standards under the Clean Air Act, and has been designated as a “nonattainment area,” which requires the city and state to take immediate action to improve air quality. Fairbanks’ three coal-fired power plants are a significant source of that pollution. Beyond emissions, they also threaten public health and the environment through the transportation and dumping of coal ash. The technology to replace coal exists, and ACP is fighting for the people of Fairbanks’ human right to clean air and clean power.

A truck dumps coal-ash at a site on the outskirts of Fairbanks, AK, near a wildlife refuge. Photo: Russ Maddox

A Citizens Petition is comprised of three passionate activists who live or lived in Fairbanks and have seen the toll that coal ash has taken on their community. They work to inform the 32,000 residents of Fairbanks of the many health risks associated with coal ash, including respiratory diseases, certain cancers, Parkinson’s Disease, macular degeneration, neurological and autoimmune disorders. They also inform the public of the harm caused by dumping coal ash onto sensitive arctic tundra, harming the environment and adding more C02 into the atmosphere as the permafrost melts. Although they were only incorporated in 2024, members of ACP have actively fought against Fairbanks’ three coal-fired power plants since 2011, when founder Teresa de Lima filed a citizen’s petition with the Environmental Protection Agency, prompting a 1,700+ page environmental review. At the suggestion of EPA officials, deLima also filed an informal petition with the CDC’s Toxic Disease and Substance Registry.

A coal-ash dump site outside Fairbanks. Peatland was excavated to accommodate the coal combustion waste. Photo: Teresa de Lima

For more information:

State Finds No Health Impacts From Aurora Energy Plant – KUAC, May 2024

Environmental Protection Agency Failed To Enforce Vital Clean Air Protections In Alaska – Earth Justice, April 2024

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart Sinclair

Stewart L. Sinclair is a writer, editor and educator from Ventura, California. His essays, reportage and narrative nonfiction have appeared in Guernica, The Millions, The Morning News, The New Orleans Review, Creative Nonfiction’s “True Story” series and elsewhere.


Teresa de Lima, Founder


Climate Impacts

Air Pollution, Erosion-Subsidence, Flooding

Environmental Justice Concerns

Coal/Coke Plants and Emissions, Groundwater Contamination, Hazardous/Toxic Sites, Incinerator/Dumping/Landfill, Lead Contamination, PFAS/PFOS, Superfund Sites


Community Organizing and Education, Legal/permit challenges to development, contamination, pollution, etc, Renewable Energy, Risk mapping and/or monitoring e.g. flooding/contaminants etc

501c3 Tax Deductible


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