Some of the most important venues for trying to improve Utah’s air are little-known regulatory bodies like the Division of Air Quality and the Air Quality Board. Both play a critical role in doing everything from monitoring pollution, and planning on how to limit it, to making the rules that businesses and industries have to follow.
Building on our experience and success in lobbying entities that work on nuclear waste, HEAL began in 2012 to focus on these clean air bodies as a piece of trying to limit Wasatch Front air pollution.
HEAL’s Clean Air Regulatory Success Stories:
- We brought a package of rules to the Air Quality Board to close loopholes that allow excess industrial pollution. These complex but critical measures have the potential to make a real difference in improving the air we breathe. Although the rules were ultimately not put out for public comment, they are being utilized by the Division of Air Quality in the development of the next State Implementation Plan targeting PM2.5 pollution.
- We built support for proposed federal regulations limiting pollution from cars and trucks – called Tier 3 standards – which may ultimately reduce pollution from the biggest source of Wasatch Front dirty air by half. Not only did we get more than 1,100 Utahns to tell the EPA they backed tougher standards on car and truck emissions, but so did Republican state legislators and Gov. Gary Herbert himself! You read that right: One of America’s most conservative, pro-business, anti-regulation Governors wrote a letter to the EPA asking for tough environmental regulations.
- We successfully encouraged thousands of Utahns to urge the Division of Air Quality to improve their plan to cut PM2.5 pollution. More than 2,600 comments were sent to regulators, urging deeper emissions cuts, particularly to industrial pollution. In addition, HEAL staff prepared detailed comments urging a host of specific pollution controls, including safeguards specific to polluting refineries developed by an expert we contracted.
Our work strives to push Utah’s air quality regulators to do more. We will continue to provide detailed comments on upcoming permit applications and proposed Division of Air Quality rules — like those governing fugitive dust. We will also work to protect important rules already passed by the Air Quality Board — like this architectural coatings rule that helps reduce emissions from the building sector — from special interest groups who seek to undermine our regulations to increase their profit margins.
Recent Posts about Clean Air Regulation…
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
NEWS: Despite more than a hundred complaints by residents, Utah regulators still struggle to find wood-smoke offenders
Salt Lake Tribune
April 12th, 2018
Holladay resident Nick Smyrniotopoulos has a problem. One of his neighbors has repeatedly reported him for burning trash in violation of state and county air-quality policies — even calling the police and fire department out to his house.
But, Smyrniotopoulos says, he’s innocent.
Authorities tried to step up no-burn enforcement on the Wasatch Front this winter, but they concede it can be difficult to determine who has broken the rules. They still encourage Utahns to report violations — even though only a fraction of complaints result in citations.
Read the full article here
April 9th, 2018
OGDEN — Despite alarms being sounded nationally by environmental advocates, Utah regulators say the Trump administration’s U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hasn’t done much to derail efforts in improving the state’s air quality.
This week, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality fielded numerous questions from concerned citizens and reporters after the EPA announced plans to rollback Obama-era fuel efficiency standards. Last year, air quality advocates decried the EPA’s efforts to repeal the Clean Power Plan. Utah’s air quality regulators say neither of the two moves will have a major impact on the state’s efforts to cut emissions from cars or coal-burning power plants.
In fact, one regulator said the new EPA under Administrator Scott Pruitt is making it easier for Utah to clear its air.
Read the full article hereRead more...