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…
Just a quick reminder aboutHEAL Utah Legislative Preview Community Night in Salt Lake City! During this in-depth Legislative Preview, we will break down Utah's legislative process, the keys bills we are following, and we'll tell you about how you can get involved to influence policy at the state level.
- What: HEAL Utah Legislative Preview Community Night
- When: Tonight,
- Where: Marmalade Library Branch, 280 W 500 N, Salt Lake City, UT, 84103
If you haven't been to a HEAL Community Night before, HEAL staff will present on our campaigns and lead a Q&A. They are fun and informal. To lean more, log on to our Facebook event page or the HEAL Utah Website.
Also, don't forget to stay in the loop by signing up to recieve legislative updates. These emails will offer factual updates about how bills are moving, details on key hearings, and some behind the scenes intrigue and flavor.
For any question, don't hesitate to call HEAL Utah at our office at (801) 919-4804.
Together In Clean Air,
Noah E. Miterko | HEAL UtahRead more...
Salt Lake Tribune
Jan 7, 2018
Utah’s recent history with air quality comes down to this: We’re headed in the right direction, but the road is getting steeper.
So it is with news that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has officially notified Utah officials that areas in seven counties are exceeding safe ozone levels and the counties will be declared non-attainment areas. That means Utah will have to come up with new ways to reduce ozone.
And if that’s not enough, Tribune reporter Emma Penrod tells us that scientists who are charged with reducing Utah’s other main air pollutant — particulates — are now saying Utah’s plans for lowering the amount of small particulates (PM2.5) likely won’t be enough to satisfy EPA.
Read the entire piece here.