PRESS ADVISORY: Tuesday 11:30 am Press Conference. South Steps, Utah State Capitol
For more information, call Matt Pacenza, HEAL Utah, 801-864-0264
UTAHNS GATHER TO URGE LEGISLATURE TO PASS BILLS TO REIN IN DIRTY AIR
PRESS CONFERENCE DEMANDS LEGISLATURE REJECT BAD BUILDINGS BILL, UP FOR TUESDAY VOTE
A broad coalition of Uthans will gather on the South Steps of the Capitol Tuesday at 11:30 am to call upon a legislative committee to vote “no” on HB 316, a bill that would take us backwards in terms of reining in dangerous air pollution, an astounding move to consider in the midst of a serious inversion.
HB316, “Building Code Review and Adoption Amendments,” from Rep. Brad Wilson, would make it much harder for Utah officials to limit emissions from our homes and buildings, a sector that is already responsible for nearly 40 percent of the pollution in our valleys. And as emissions from cars decreases, the buildings sector will grow to over 60 percent in the decades to come.
The group of citizens representing an array of interests gathered as countless Utahns suffered through more than a week a deadly inversion that has crowded area emergency rooms, according to news reports. Concerned citizens were so worried about the air that an online action alert from several clean air groups focused on HB316 resulted in 3,000 emails sent to legislators in less than 48 hours, a record response.
Speakers at Tuesday’s press conference – which include affordable housing advocates, a buildings professional, a physician and several clean air and clean energy advocates – instead will urge the State Legislature to move forward to consider a pair of other bills that would have a positive long term impact on improving air quality.
HB 250, “Air Quality Amendments,” from Rep. Ed Redd, would re-instate a rule passed by the state Air Quality Board last fall which would have required that only ultra-low NOx hot water heaters be sold or installed in Utah as of 2018. HB 121, “Building Code Amendments,” from Rep. Becky Edwards, would institute the full Uniform Building Code Commission 2015 recommendations, rather than the much more watered down version in Wilson’s bill.