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…
Salt Lake Tribune
By: Emma Penrod
April 18, 2017
Salt Lake City now ranks among the worst U.S. cities for ozone and particulate pollution, a new report says.
The Salt Lake metro area, including Provo and Orem, was the 20th worst city for elevated concentrations of ozone, according to the American Lung Association's latest State of the Air Report, which ranks and grades cities and counties by the number of days their air is deemed "unhealthy" under standards set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.
Based on air quality readings between 2013 and 2015, the ozone ranking is the worst ever received by a Utah city in the report's history, said Michael Siler, a Midvale resident and Utah representative on a regional board for the American Lung Association.
here were no Utah cities in the national top 25 for ozone last year. Given the effects of ozone exposure, particularly on young people, Siler said he didn't understand why more Utahns aren't alarmed about rising levels of the pollutant.
"I don't know why people aren't just beside themselves about the air quality," he said.
... To read the full article, please click here...
Posted by Amy Joi O'Donoghue
March 28, 2017
SALT LAKE CITY — President Donald Trump signed the Energy Independence Executive Order Tuesday, rolling back the controversial Clean Power Plan and killing a three-year moratorium on federal coal leases.
The move continues the president's efforts to dismantle a slew of Obama-era regulations under fire from energy rich states like Utah that produce coal and are home to oil and gas fields.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert called the executive order a step in the right direction.
"Utah and many public land and energy producing states think that the Clean Power Plan was a significant overreach. It was really designed to kill off carbon-based fuels and particularly coal," he said. "The standards that they were trying to put in place, there is not even technology that allows you to meet those standards."
... to read the full article, please click here...Read more...
By: Sean Reilly
Published: Tuesday, March 14, 2017
Utah lawmakers are seeking to deploy the Congressional Review Act against U.S. EPA's regional haze rule for the state.
The EPA plan, published last July over state objections, would require two coal-fired plants owned by PacifiCorp to slash emissions of nitrogen oxides, with the goal of improving visibility at nine national parks and wilderness areas, including Canyonlands National Park in Utah and the Grand Canyon in Arizona.
PacifiCorp estimates the cost of new pollution controls at $700 million. The Oregon-based company and state elected officials are contesting the EPA plan in lawsuits filed with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
In a news release yesterday, Chaffetz echoed their opposition, saying EPA had assumed unwarranted authority "in order to impose significant costs without any discernible benefit."
"Such actions are typical of Obama-era federal overreach and must be repealed," Chaffetz said.
... To read the full article, please click here...Read more...