PRESS ADVISORY *** PRESS ADVISORY *** PRESS ADVISORY
AIR QUALITY BOARD TO TAKE CRITICAL VOTE AT WED AFTERNOON MEETING
PANEL TO VOTE WHETHER TO CONSIDER THREE RULES TARGETING INDUSTRY
Utah’s Air Quality Board will take a critically important vote at its Wed. March 2 monthly meeting on three proposed rules that could strengthen oversight of industry, reduce emissions and boost public confidence.
In October, three local environmental groups (HEAL Utah, Western Resource Advocates and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment) presented the three rules. (See coverage in the Tribune, Deseret News, KUER and our press release.) The rules were formally filed in early January, and now – as state law requires – the Board will take a vote as to whether to deny the petition, or put the rules out for public comment.
In a memo to the Board last week, the Division of Air Quality urged the Board to deny the petition, claiming that even consider them would be burdensome, setting up what promises to be an interesting and close vote Wednesday.
“We’re confident the Board will agree these rules deserve a robust public discussion,” says HEAL Utah’s Executive Director Matt Pacenza. “It’s critical that Utah be willing to explore any and all possibility to limit air pollution.”
Representatives from HEAL, WRA and Utah Physicians will speak directly to the Board at Wednesday’s meeting, which begins at 1:30 pm at the Department of Environmental Quality’s headquarters. During their comment, they will present a “sign on” letter encouraging the Air Quality Board to put the rules out for comment, which has been endorsed by 44 community leaders, including elected city, county and state officials, faith leaders, environmental groups, and representatives of the state’s vibrant outdoors sports and business communities.
In addition, they will present the Board with nearly 1,000 postcards signed by Utahns urging them to pass the rules.
For background on the rules, here’s a link to a memo which describes the three rules in detail and puts them in the context of Utah’s overall efforts to strengthen pollution, a link to the Board packet which includes actual rule language and accompanying petitions (plus the Division’s memo urging the Board to vote “No”) and that “sign-on” letter.
Representatives from the three groups will be at the DEQ by 1 pm Wednesday and available for interviews, as well as after the meeting.Utah Air Quality Board Meeting
Wednesday, March 2, 2016 – 1:30 p.m.
195 North 1950 West, Room 1015
Salt Lake City, Utah 84116
For more information, contact:
Joro Walker, Senior Attorney/Utah Office Director, Western Resource Advocates, 801-487-9911, joro.walker@westernresources.
Tim Wagner, Executive Director, Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, 801-502-5450, firstname.lastname@example.org
Matt Pacenza, Executive Director, HEAL Utah, 801-864-0264, email@example.com