NEWS: Environmental groups want the governor to veto wood-burning bill

Salt Lake Tribune
Published by: Emma Penrod
February 21, 2017



Clean air activists want Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a bill that would prevent the state from regulating wood smoke used to cook food.

Representatives of both HEAL Utah and Breathe Utah are opposed to HB65, which has already passed the House and Senate. The bill would require the state Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to permit wood burning, even during mandatory no-burn days, if the purpose of the fire was to cook.

Opponents argued that the language was too vague and would render the DAQ restrictions on wood burning impossible to enforce, but conceded that allowing wintertime backyard barbecues probably wouldn’t have a substantial impact on Utah’s air quality.

But an amendment in the Senate broadened the scope of the bill, making it pertain to not just a family cookout but also commercial operations.

That change has drawn ire from the environmental community.

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