2022 Legislative Session: Week 3, air quality bills

2022 Capitol Report

Week 2 

We are now on day 15 of the Legislative session! Last week we saw the introduction of many new environmental bills. Our Policy team is looking at all the details of these bills and is working on creating bill breakdowns, email drafts, and all that you need to support or oppose. 

 Keep reading to learn more.

New Air Quality Bills 

 The Clean Air Caucus held a conference this week and went over all their air quality-related bills. 

The Clean Air Caucus is a bipartisan group formed to create legislation to clean up our air. 

As you read the following bills keep in mind that our team is still breaking these down, so even if it has a title that sounds amazing, it still may have things that concern us… but that’s what we here are for! 

Bill NumberShort TitleSponsorAbout
HCR 7 Concurrent Resolution Regarding Improving Air Quality Through Enhanced Zero Emission Rail Rep. BallardThis resolution address improving air quality through encouraging rail development and zero emission technology deployment.
Alternative Fuel Heavy Equipment Tax Credit Rep BallardProvides both corporate and individuals non-refundable tax credit for the purchase of alternative fuel heavy equipment; Authorizes the Utah inland Port Authority to provide a matching grant to anyone who applies for the tax credit.
Inland Port Emissions AmendRep. Bennion Gives the inland port the ability to set emission standards for vehicles. These standards would determine fees associated with using, or even the ability to use, inland port services.
HB 164Public Transit Fares Rep. BriscoeMakes all UTA buses free from fares.
HB 189Electric Vehicle Charging Modifications Rep. BriscoeAllow renters to install vehicle charging equipment at their own cost in Multi-unit housing- condominiums and apartments.
Utah Clean Energy FundRep.BriscoeCreates an independent state entity which oversees a public private partnership fund to provide loans to further the use of clean energy in Utah
Air Quality Impact StudyRep. Dailey-ProvostCreates a Utah specific social cost of carbon
HB 109Death Certificate AmendmentsRep. Handy Adds air pollution option as a contributing factor as a cause of death
HB 244Geological Carbon Sequestration AmendmentsRep. HandyAddresses the Capture and Utilization of carbon emissions.
Concurrent Resolution encouraging use of low carbon cementRep. Handy Calls on the state, county, and cities to ask for low carbon cement when putting projects out to bid.
HB 221Tax Credit for Alternative Fuel VehiclesRep. Harrison Reinstates a tax credit for passenger electric vehicles
Mining Permit Amendments Rep. OwensHelps ensure there are no mining operations close to cities to combat the ability to fast track small mining operations in populous areas.
Off-Highway Vehicle AmendmentsRepl OwensEnsures clarity that off-road vehicles of any type are prohibited from dry lakebeds which limits danger tot he salt pan layer which keeps down potential for dust generation.
HB 52 Hydrogen Tax Credit Amendments Rep. Sagers Bill modifies definitions related to qualification for a high cost infrastructure development tax credit.
HB 275Vehicle Emissions Reduction Program Rep. StenquistEnacts the vehicle emissions reduction program as part of the air conservation act.
HCR 1Concurrent resolution to work together to address the climate, public lands and carbon sequestration. Rep Stratton/ Sen HinkinsThis resolution recognizes and encourages best management practices to reduce carbon emissions while also preserving and expanding forests and other lands to improve climate outcomes
HB 186Vehicle Registration AmendmentsRep. WardRoad user charge for electric vehicles- Registration fee or $120 .5c/ mile based fee that grows to 180 or 1 cent at 3% and max of 1.5 cents $240 at 10%
HJR 3Joint Resolution Supporting Federal Carbon Fee and Dividen ProgramRep. Ward This joint resolution addresses CO2 pollution, its impact on the environment, and ways to efficiently promote clean air technology.
State Electric Vehicle Purchase program Rep. WardMakes the state buy electric vehicles when prudent ( definition up to the state). Part of what the state should consider includes cost, range in usage, and people available to repair.
Joint Resolution supporting Environmental Protections for Little Cottonwood CanyonSen AndereggNot available.
Public Transit Capital Development Amendments Sen. AndereggNot available
Air Quality Improvement AmendmentsSen. CullimoreExpands the use of a utility rate-payer based program for low income households, proposes a matching grant program to eliminate diesel engines, creates DEQ rebate program, helps the Point of the Mountain Authority develop and R&D center.
SB 136Air Quality Policy AmendmentsSen. Escamilla Expands the makeup and requirements of the Air Quality Policy Advisory Board
SB 51Transportation Amendments Sen. Harper/ Rep ChristoffersonAmends the definition of a vintage vehicle to a vehicle at least 40 years old and amends provisions related to an exemption from an emission inspection for a vintage vehicle to only include those with a model year 1967 or older.
Fossil Fuels Tax Amendments Sen. Kitchen Reduces carbon dioxide emissions through a carbon tax. Approximately 1/3 of the revenue goes to improving local air quality and promoting rural economic development and approximately 2/3 of the revenue goes to reducing existing taxes.
APPROPRIATIONDepartment of Environmental Quality Air Quality Outreach Rep. Barlow500,000 One-Time from General Fund
APPROPRIATION E-Bus Air Quality Mapping Project Rep. Handy 120,000 to purchase three sets of air monitoring systems to be mounted on UTA e-buses in order to evaluate and map geographic detail of air pollution in Salt Lake City
APPROPRIATIONAir Quality StudySen. Cullimore25,000 One Time from General Fund
APPROPRIATION Air Quality Federal Funds RequestN/a8,588,100 One-tTime
APPROPRIATIONAir Quality Ozone Precursor Monitoring Listed in Governor's Budget 3,235,600 (2022 OT )+ 1,005,000 ongoing
APPROPRIATION Market Based Salary AdjustmentDiscretionary Funding Increase to address 10% of 26.8% below market comparison for environmental scientist at DEQ 640,000 ongoing
APPROPRIATION Monitoring network expansion (Summit and Wasatch Counties) Listed in Governo's budget 462,500 (2022 OT) + 25,000 Ongoing.

What’s on the move? 

Vehicle Registration Amendments

House Bill 186 Vehicle Registration Amendments passed the House Transportation Committee and then passed the House Floor with 61 yes votes and 11 no. This bill would alter registration fees for electric vehicles to $120 .5c/mile and 1.5 cents $240 at 10% as maximum to address gas tax discrepancy with electric vehicles road usage. 

Air Quality Policy Amendments

SB 136  Air Quality Policy Amendments passed the Senate Transportation, Public Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee and is waiting to be heard at the Senate Floor. This bill would be the first step in studying the adoption of a diesel emission reduction program for Utah. 

Zero Emission rail

HCR 7 Concurrent Resolution Regarding Improving Air Quality Through Enhanced Zero Emission Rail passed the House Public, Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee

 Our team gave comment and reminded our lawmakers that “Green Energy” doesn’t always mean it’s actually a clean source of energy and encouraged our lawmakers to continue to look at the most environmental friendly energy source. 

Federal Carbon Fee and Dividend Program

HJR 3 Joint resolution Supporting Federal Carbon Fee and Dividen Program passed the House Public, Utilities, Energy, and Technology Committee

This resolution voices Utah’s support for polluters to pay a Carbon Fee to better reflect the price of carbon-based energy and asks for countries to pay a border fee to create a fair price for foreign-produced goods. The resolution also opposes requirements for fossil fuel companies to pay reparations for past harm and supports loosening mining regulations for minerals needed for the clean energy transition in Utah. 

Electric Charging Station access.

SB 152  Community Association Regulation Amendments passed the Senate Economic Development and Workforce Services Committee

Bill loosens HOA regulations preventing decorations, lawns, solar panels and Electric Vehicles. Our team gave comment to support this bill! 

We didn't give up without a fight.

One resolution that we were closely watching and trying to get amended SCR 3 passed the House. The first week of the session this resolution passed the Senate and is now on its way to the governor. While this isn’t the best news our team did not let this happen without a fight, we brought concerns regarding Uranium to our lawmakers and ultimately had 10 oppose this bill. Read more about this resolution here. 

How to get involved

Not sure how to get involved with these bills? Join us in person or virtually for our citizen lobbying! You can also periodically check our Action Alert page, where email templates are ready for you.