NEWS: EPA labels Utah air-quality problems ‘serious’

Salt Lake Tribune
by Emma Penrod
May 2, 2017

State officials are mulling new pollution-control measures after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found Utah out of compliance with air-quality standards.

On Friday, the EPA classified the Provo and Salt Lake City metro areas, including Davis and Weber counties and parts of Box Elder and Tooele, as “serious” nonattainment areas.

The “serious” designation, raised from “moderate,” confirms that Utah did not meet a 2015 deadline for complying with federal air-quality rules for small particulate pollution, or PM2.5.

Both the Salt Lake City and Provo areas have struggled to meet the standard since it was changed in 2006.

Air-quality advocate Matt Pacenza, executive director of HEAL Utah, welcomed the EPA’s decision.

“For nearly 10 years, Utah’s air has failed federal health standards,” he said. “Now’s our chance to look under every rock for measures to reduce pollution from our cars, homes, buildings and businesses in order to protect the health of our families for years to come.”

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