22 Years of Impact

22 Years of Impact

Building a community.

What started as a group of concerned citizens coming together in Tooele to protect their community has grown to a collective of over 20,000 supporters from all parts of Utah. We would not be able to be where we are today if it weren’t for everyone who built this organization, set its course, kept us accountable and on track, and shared their resources to help bring our collective vision of a cleaner, healthier world ever closer. We thank you for your support and look forward to many more years of serving as Utah’s environmental watchdogs.

Banning Nuclear Wastes
  • Helped shepherd the passage of a bill (SB24) to ban Class B and Class C nuclear waste from Utah
  • This bill meant that only Class A low-level waste (which loses nearly all of its hazard after 100 years) can come to Utah.
Stopping private fuel storage
  • Stopped the private fuel storage proposal in which a group of utilities wanted to bring high-level, spent fuel from nuclear reactors across the country and store it “temporarily” on the Goshute reservation in Utah’s west desert
  • This plan finally died for good in 2012
Fighting against the Green River Reactors
Halting a depleted uranium proposal
  • Halted the disposal of 40,000 tons of depleted uranium in Utah by demanding that state regulators and Governer Herbert take action ( The governor put a moratorium on the waste until a performance assessment was completed) 
  • The Department of Environmental Quoality is still analyzing the health and safety of depleted uranium and the resulting performance assessment is expected in 2019
Publishing the eUtah report
  • Began participating in Rocky Mountain Powwer’s electricity-planning process, which we still take a significant part in today to help the utility and regulators develop more renewable energy. 
  • Worked with the Institute for Energy and Environmental Research to publish the eUtah report, which esplains how our state can tranision to 100% renewable energy by 2050
Developing community energy choice in Utah

Pushed for a community energy choice program in Utah, similar to one in Sonoma County, California, that would allow residents to pool their demand and bulk-purchase renewable energy directly from developers.

Expanding our work
  • Expanded our work to include clean air and began researching specific issues, developing legislation, and collaborating with other clean air advocates. 
  • Organized the successful Clean Air Now rally.
Supporting tier3 fuel
  • Brought attention to tier 3 fuel and cars by encouraging Utahns to file several thousand comments to the Environmental Protection Agency in support of tier 3 
  • Successfully lobbied Governor Herbert to show his support for tier 3
Organized a clean air rally
  • Organized another clean air rally which helped push the issue in front of the legislature, who then considered a record 22 air quality bills, 9 wich passed
  • Stopped Rocky Mountain Power’s bid to institute a monthly fee on rooftop solar owners.
Releasing the Brown Sky report
  • Passed the “not stricter than” bill in the legislature, which freed up the hands of air quality regulators
  • Developed and released Brown Sky report, a report highlighting Rocky Mountain Power’s energy mix and lobbying practices
Passing a hot water heater bill
  • Helped pass a hot water heater bill in the legislature
  • Worked on the regional haze rule which implemented stricter controls on Rocky Mountain Power’s coal plants.
Negotiating rooftop solar rates
  • Negotiated with Rocky Mountain Power, the solar industry, the Public Service Commission, and the governor’s office to improve the utility’s proposed electric rate increases for rooftop solar users. 
  • These negotiations included the completion of a new rooftop solar study by Rocky Mountain Power, which is expected int he spring of 2019
Championing Utah's first climate resolution
  • Championed Utah’s first Climate resolution (HCR007), which recognized a changing climate and pledged to combat it.
  • Submitted technical comments and led the grassroots charge to have the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control Board deny an EnergySolutions exemption request from a state law governing depleted uranium shipments.
Passing emission testing pilot program for diesel vehicles
  • Bill drafted to improve the economics of retiring coal plants early (Securitization), which is now ready to be introduced when politically favorable.
  • HEAL’s Inland Port White Paper published
  • Passage of a bill establishing an emission testing pilot program for diesel vehicles in Utah County (the only Wasatch Front county that wasn’t doing this testing).  
  • Technical study commissioned and published about the poor economics of small modular nuclear reactors
Grassroots Achievements
  • Submitted 8 pages of comments on the weaknesses of the sustainability sections of the Inland Port Business Plan
  • HEAL’s grassroots efforts were instrumental in reducing the support for the proposed UAMPS nuclear power project by 50%.
  • Stopped a land preservation being funded with tax on radioactive waste (HB233) 
  • Published an interactive GIS map about uranium activities in Southern Utah
  • Virtually gathered around 100 citizens to give public comment to the Public Service Commission who subsequently ruled against against drastically cutting Utah’s rooftop solar export credit rate
Stopped bill against electric vehicles
  • Stopped a bill that would have increased registration fees on electric vehicles (HB209)
  • Successfully removed language from a bill that would have merged the Utah Departments of Environmental Quality and Natural Resources.
  • Helped achieve the passage of a state resolution supporting the extension and expansion of the federal program to compensate Downwinders. 
  • Passage of a bill making the diesel vehicles emissions testing program a permanent program, rather than just a pilot

In 2021 we expanded our capacity to work on new environmental threats with the help of a new policy associate. With this expansion, we are now looking into solutions to critical problems like the decline of the Great Salt Lake and methane leaks in the Uinta Basin while also expanding our reach to Southern Utah. 

Some notable accomplishments from this past year include

Free Fare Days: In 2019, House Bill 353 (HB353) provided funding for free public transit on moderate to severe air quality days. So far, HEAL has helped organize 8 Free Fare Days, including two days in Free Fare February. We have funding left for two more days during the inversion season.

Diesel Emissions Reduction Program: During this year’s Legislative Session, HEAL Utah helped create and pass legislation to study a Diesel Emissions Reduction program for the State of Utah. This program would specifically target Inland Port diesel trucks and equipment. HEAL Utah will continue to assist with the design of this program.

Going Solar: In 2021, HEAL Utah, in partnership with Creative Energies, provided supporters with solar panel education and discounted rates. Through this program, 15 households installed solar panels, and over 200 individuals learned about the benefits of solar.

EPA Lawsuit: HEAL has Continued to pursue our legal challenge of the EPA’s Regional Haze ruling that gave Utah’s coal-fired power plants a pass. HEAL is challenging a Trump-era rule that let PacifiCorp avoid reducing CO2 emissions from its coal-fired power plants. The case is making its way through the courts.

These are just a few examples of how your support has helped make meaningful change in the state of Utah. You can read more about our campaign highlights and 2021 accomplishments by reading our 2021 Annual report here.

The fight isn't over yet.

We are proud of these achievements and celebrate these wins but also acknowledge that there is a lot of work to be done to ensure that our health and quality of life are protected for all who call Utah home. We are looking into strategies to continue our current campaigns of reducing vehicle emissions, transitioning away from fossil fuels, and protecting our communities from toxic waste. Below are some ways for you to get involved and support our work