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…
Kevin Emerson and Kenner Kingston
Today is Energy Efficiency Day, a nationwide day to recognize and celebrate this abundant, cost-effective energy resource. Energy efficiency is a Utah ethic and a priority for our state. As a community, we save money and use energy resources wisely when we conserve energy, and Utah has a solid track record for energy efficiency. In fact, Utah just gained three spots in the “State Energy Efficiency Scorecard” released last week by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. Rocky Mountain Power’s energy efficiency program, known as “wattsmart,” helped contribute to this improved ranking.
For more than a decade, Rocky Mountain Power has encouraged its customers to be wattsmart in their homes and businesses, and offered incentives to use energy-efficient technologies such as LED lighting, building controls and efficient heating and cooling systems. And for more than a decade, our community and our utility have reaped the economic and environmental benefits. Since 2008, wattsmart has saved Utahns $1 billion in electricity costs and has helped support a thriving energy-efficiency industry that employs over 30,000 workers in Utah.
To read more, click here.Read more...
SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC4 Utah) - Governor Herbert gathered at the capitol with utility and solar leaders to praise a compromise reached on net metering. What price solar customers will get in the future remains to be seen.
Net metering allows customers with solar or other electricity generation to sell unused electricity back to their utility.
Last November Rocky Mountain power was requesting a drastic change in the rates they paid back to net metering customers. The power company notes they paid a full rate of 10.6 cents a kilowatt hour, while they buy whole sale solar power from larger farms for around 3.3 cents a kwh.
To read more or watch the TV clip, click here.Read more...