fbpx

About

For over 20 years HEAL has fought to protect Utah’s health and our natural world from environmental threats, and we don’t plan on stopping anytime soon. Ultimately, we push for positive progress that will help our state and the Utahns in it prosper. .

Our Mission

HEAL Utah promotes renewable energy and clean air, and protects public health and the environment from dirty, toxic and nuclear energy threats.

The Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah) has a track record of tackling some of the biggest threats to Utah’s environment and public health — and succeeding — by empowering grassroots advocates, using science-based solutions, and developing common-sense policy.

How we do it?

Change occurs when everyone has the opportunity for their voice to be heard. By educating citizens, building their civic skills, and getting us all to consider our personal choices, we mobilize individuals to protect our families, our communities, and our natural world.

The Challenge

Our issues include clean air, energy and climate, and radioactive waste. For each of our issues, we take well-researched legislative, regulatory, and individual responsibility approaches to create tangible change and then rely on grassroots action to make it happen.

Understanding political, regulatory, and industry-wide perspectives allows us to navigate both choppy and smooth waters. By having a seat at the table, researching realistic solutions, and creating strategic, long-term campaigns, we successfully move legislation, regulatory measures, and personal lifestyle changes forward to guarantee a better, healthier tomorrow.

Our History

1999
Nonprofit Status

Recognizing the numerous ongoing threats to public health and the environment,  organizers from tooele saw the important role they could fill and applied to become an official nonprofit, gaining 501(c)(3) status in 1999 as 

2001
FAIR --> HEAL

FAIR realized that Utah’s Great Salt Lake desert was increasingly being targeted by commercial interests both within and outside the state as a site for the disposal of the nation’s radioactive waste. To protect Utahns from these predatory corporations, FAIR expanded its scope and, in 2001, became the Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah (HEAL Utah).

2005
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.

2006
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

2007
Fighting against the Green River Reactors

Began the fight to stop Utah’s first commercial nuclear reactors on the Green River

 

HEAL and our supporters continue to fight this project on the basis of preventing radioactive waste wherever we can — in state court, in front of SITLA, and at the legislature

2008 - 2009
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 Quality is still analyzing the health and safety of depleted uranium and the resulting performance assessment is expected in 2019

2010
Publishing the eUtah report

Began participating in Rocky Mountain Power'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 

2011
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. 

2012
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. 

2013
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 

2014
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 which passed

 

Stopped Rocky Mountain Power’s bid to institute a monthly fee on rooftop solar owners.

2015
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 

2016
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.

2017
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 in the spring of 2019 

2018
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. 

2019
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).  

A technical study commissioned and published about the poor economics of small modular nuclear reactors

2020
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 land preservation being funded with a 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 drastically cutting Utah’s rooftop solar export credit rate

2021
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

Generously Supported By