As Utah’s population increases and spurs development, area sources stand to become Utah’s largest pollution source. Area sources include homes, businesses, development projects, off-road vehicles (like construction equipment), and agriculture.
The main tool to reduce area source emissions is establishing technical regulations that Utah’s public agencies can enforce. This starts with the establishment of cleaner standards that specific sources must meet and hold area source emitters accountable. However, individual action — from pressure on large area source emitters like developers to changes made in your own home appliances — can still reduce emissions. By educating the public on the problem and providing tangible solutions, we work to change individual behavior.
State Implementation Plan (SIP)
For the last decade, Utah’s urban areas have been out of attainment with federal air quality standards for PM2.5. This has launched the state into a lengthy compliance process with the EPA that requires the development of State Implementation Plans (SIPs) for Salt Lake and Provo. We are currently in the second stage for each region of the PM2.5 SIPs. Public review for the Salt Lake SIP will be open in the fall of 2018 and the Provo public review period is already in process. These periods are the only times in which the public can be actively involved in an otherwise fairly closed process. The results of the SIP will determine how certain regions in Utah will reduce emissions in the coming years, including what’s required on the public, businesses, and industry.
As an organization, we are encouraging the public to take part during these public review periods. HEAL actively participates during these periods as well but also works with the state agency in charge of the SIP (the Division of Air Quality) to advocate for stronger controls on wood burning, off-road vehicles (like construction equipment), on-road vehicles (our cars and trucks), and fugitive dust (e.g. from sand and gravel quarries), and for stronger review on industry compliance. The results of the SIP will have an impact on how all emission sources in non-attainment areas are controlled, including vehicle and industrial emissions.