It’s no exaggeration to state that air pollution has become the dominant environmental issue in northern Utah over the past few years. When the smoggy inversions we all dread settle into northern Utah’s urban valleys, our levels of fine particle pollution (PM 2.5) reach “unhealthy” for everyone, before the weather changes and the toxic funk lifts.
Utah is officially “out of attainment” with federal Clean Air Act guidelines limiting PM2.5 pollution. Those are tiny particles of dust and pollutants which burrow deep into our lungs and even enter our blood and organs, harming the health of our children and families. It’s a problem most noted in mid-winter, when soot builds up in our valleys, as weather stagnates. Increasingly though, our invisible summertime ozone problem is mounting and will also cause our state to fail to meet federal air quality standards in this respect as well.
Emissions from our cars, homes, businesses and industry are all responsible, driving levels of fine particle pollution well above safe levels. We at HEAL believe that there is no one answer to the dirty air that plagues our valleys. We must clean up our cars and trucks and encourage people to ride transit, bicycle and walk more. However, we also need to make our buildings, homes and businesses as efficient and clean as possible, limiting the pollution they emit. And, lastly, we need to make sure that heavy industry does everything it can to reduce pollution, rather than the modest cuts it has put in place recently.
Beginning in 2012, HEAL began working hard to urge state officials to do more to clean the air. Thousands of Utahns have joined us, participating in online actions sending strong messages to policymakers, attending historic rallies on the steps of the Capitol, and packing hearings where key air quality decisions are made.
We’ve pushed for state support of federal gas and car standards, advocated for more funding for monitoring equipment, encouraged the Division of Air Quality to require deeper emissions cuts, particularly to industrial pollution, and also worked hard behind the scenes with state legislators to develop dozens of air quality measures.
To learn more about that work, check out the video we made in 2013! “Smog Attack!”
In just a few years, Clean Air has become one of our core issues. We’re proud of what we’ve accomplished – and know that with your support we’ll continue to do everything we can to make our beautiful valleys safe for everyone.
Recent Posts about Clean Air…
May 3rd, 2018
Towering peaks—frosted in winter white, robed in summer green—provide a stunning backdrop for those who work and live along the Wasatch Front. These same summits, however, contribute to a not-so-pretty aspect of working and living in Utah: poor air quality.
Winter’s murky inversions hover with particulates called PM2.5. Summer’s hazardous ozone simmers with pollutant chemical reactions. With frequent high-pressure weather conditions, emissions from several sources and the majority of the population tucked into mountain valleys, Utahns are exposed to dangerous air quality.
Dr. Scott Williams, pediatrician and executive director of HEAL Utah, a health and environment advocacy group, explains, “We have too many days of the year when we exceed unhealthy thresholds. Those particles on the bad days stay there and can create health problems for those with respiratory or heart conditions. The key measure is how many bad days we have, and we’re still out of attainment with federal requirements.”
Read the full article hereRead more...
Standard-Examiner Editorial Board
May 1st, 2018
When it’s cold, you can see the air pollution in Northern Utah.
When it’s hot, you can’t. Not always, anyway.
But it’s still there — and it poses a threat to our health.
Seven counties along the Wasatch Front and in the Uinta Basin exceed federal limits for ozone pollution, the Environmental Protection Agency announced Tuesday.
Read the full article here
It’s that time of year --
The Spring Breakfast is here!
Please join us on Thursday, May 17th from 7:00-9:00 AM for a very special Spring Breakfast!
At this year’s fundraiser, we will have a live panel hosted by Doug Fabrizio of Radiowest to discuss Utah's changing climate. The panel will feature three remarkable female legislators: Rep. Patrice Arent (D-36), Rep. Becky Edwards (R-20), and Rep. Angela Romero (D-26). This engaging conversation will be recorded live and aired later as a RadioWest production!
Don’t hesitate to reach out with any questions by calling (801) 355-5055 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.