air pollution http://kuer.org en Pollution Spikes: A New Holiday Tradition http://kuer.org/post/pollution-spikes-new-holiday-tradition <p></p><p>Families all over Utah celebrated Pioneer Day with fireworks. The festivities also pumped lots of unhealthy smoke into the air that spiked air pollution. KUER’s Judy Fahys reports on the trend and Salt Lake City’s plan to deal with it.</p><p>Polluted air has become a kind of day-after tradition for Independence Day and Pioneer Day in Utah. Monitors at the state Department of Environmental Quality show those pretty pyrotechnics created enough smoke to top federal health standards in Salt Lake, Utah, Weber, Cache and Tooele counties Thursday night.</p> Fri, 25 Jul 2014 22:56:22 +0000 Judy Fahys 49819 at http://kuer.org Pollution Spikes: A New Holiday Tradition Ozone Rising Throughout Utah http://kuer.org/post/ozone-rising-throughout-utah <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p></p><p>Forecasters are predicting nice weather for the holiday weekend. But clear, quiet skies also mean higher ozone pollution that can cause health problems.</p><p>Ozone is Utah’s “other” pollution. It’s odorless and colorless. But this summertime pollutant still poses a hazard to health. Bo Call supervises pollution monitoring for the Utah Division of Air Quality.</p> Wed, 02 Jul 2014 21:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 48700 at http://kuer.org Ozone Rising Throughout Utah Clear the Air Challenge Begins Tuesday http://kuer.org/post/clear-air-challenge-begins-tuesday <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The sixth annual </span><a href="http://cleartheairchallenge.org/" style="line-height: 1.5;" target="_blank">Clear the Air Challenge</a><span style="line-height: 1.5;"> begins on Tuesday.&nbsp; The idea is to help people learn what they can do to help protect the air from pollution.&nbsp;</span></p> Fri, 27 Jun 2014 22:55:45 +0000 Judy Fahys 48484 at http://kuer.org Clear the Air Challenge Begins Tuesday Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan http://kuer.org/post/utah-prepares-new-climate-plan <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Environmental Protection Agency released an <a href="http://www.epa.gov/climatechange/" target="_blank">ambitious plan</a> Monday to reduce the pollution blamed for global warming. Several </span>Utahns<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> are already working on next steps.</span></p><p>David Folland, a leader of the grass roots <a href="http://citizensclimatelobby.org/" target="_blank">Citizens Climate Lobby</a> in Utah, is pleased to see progress finally being made on the issue.</p> Wed, 04 Jun 2014 00:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 47283 at http://kuer.org Utah Prepares for New Climate Plan New Wood-Burning Curbs Considered for Business http://kuer.org/post/new-wood-burning-curbs-considered-business <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Burning wood in fireplaces and stoves has been forbidden for years whenever air quality gets bad in parts of northern Utah.</span></p><p>Now the Division of Air Quality is considering <a href="http://www.airquality.utah.gov/Public-Interest/Public-Commen-Hearings/Pubcom2.htm" target="_blank">similar regulations</a> for businesses.</p><p>The idea first came up when regulators were brainstorming in a public workshop last winter: Why not make commercial and industrial facilities comply with the same no-burn standards that homeowners do?</p> Mon, 02 Jun 2014 23:10:30 +0000 Judy Fahys 47230 at http://kuer.org New Wood-Burning Curbs Considered for Business Tooele County Residents Question Panel on Incinerator http://kuer.org/post/tooele-county-residents-question-panel-incinerator <p></p><p>Tooele County citizens met Wednesday night to talk about the possibility of letting Stericycle build a new medical waste incinerator in the area. After a series of informational meetings organized by Stericycle, this town hall was organized by residents.</p><p>The meeting at Stansbury High School was organized by Katrina Hill of Stansbury Park, who says she’s never done anything like this before.</p> Thu, 15 May 2014 06:30:54 +0000 Andrea Smardon 46309 at http://kuer.org Tooele County Residents Question Panel on Incinerator State to Investigate Infant Mortality in Uintah County http://kuer.org/post/state-investigate-infant-mortality-uintah-county <p></p><p>A midwife in Vernal has brought attention to what she believes is an unusually high rate of infant mortality in Uintah County. She and some environmental activists believe the newborn deaths may be connected to pollution from oil and gas drilling in the area. State and local health officials are holding a public meeting Wednesday evening to discuss a possible study of the issue.</p> Wed, 07 May 2014 22:37:44 +0000 Andrea Smardon 45998 at http://kuer.org State to Investigate Infant Mortality in Uintah County State of the Air: Greater Salt Lake Gets ‘F’ but Shows Improvement http://kuer.org/post/state-air-greater-salt-lake-gets-f-shows-improvement <p></p><p>The American Lung Association released its <a href="http://www.stateoftheair.org/2014/assets/ALA-SOTA-2014-Full.pdf">annual report</a> this week on the State of the Air across the country. The results for Utah are mixed.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 21:30:23 +0000 Andrea Smardon 45767 at http://kuer.org State of the Air: Greater Salt Lake Gets ‘F’ but Shows Improvement Utah's Summer Smog Season Gets Underway http://kuer.org/post/utahs-summer-smog-season-gets-underway <p></p><p></p><p>Utah’s smog season is underway. Some call it Utah’s overlooked pollution problem.</p><p>Michelle Hofmann, a pediatrician and founder of the health advocacy group <a href="http://dspangler@utah.gov" target="_blank">Breathe Utah</a>, is used to hearing people complain about sooty pollution in the winter. But she says it’s harder for patients to grasp the impacts of <a href="http://www.epa.gov/airnow/health/smog.pdf" target="_blank">ground-level ozone pollution</a>, since it’s odorless and colorless.</p> Fri, 02 May 2014 20:25:18 +0000 Judy Fahys 45755 at http://kuer.org Utah's Summer Smog Season Gets Underway Air-Quality Discussion Focuses on Solutions http://kuer.org/post/air-quality-discussion-focuses-solutions <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;</span></p><p></p><p>Researchers, regulators and clean-air advocates gathered Monday to talk about Utah’s air pollution woes.</p><p>Jonathan Samet, chairman of Preventative Medicine at the University of Southern California’s Keck School of Medicine, focused his keynote speech on what else decision-makers need to know to build on America’s progress in tackling pollution.</p> Tue, 15 Apr 2014 00:26:51 +0000 Judy Fahys 44859 at http://kuer.org Air-Quality Discussion Focuses on Solutions Preliminary Study Links Air Pollution and Suicide http://kuer.org/post/preliminary-study-links-air-pollution-and-suicide <p></p><p></p><p>A new study from the University of Utah suggests yet another link between pollution and health hazards: a correlation between dirty air and suicide that’s spurring even more questions.</p><p>Amanda Bakian, an assistant professor of psychiatry, says preliminary findings show more people commit suicide when nitrogen dioxide is elevated. And when is fine-particle pollution is elevated. But she notes the correlation is puzzling because the suicide-pollution link is strongest in the seasons when pollution is generally not that high, spring and fall.</p> Mon, 07 Apr 2014 21:27:03 +0000 Judy Fahys 44515 at http://kuer.org Preliminary Study Links Air Pollution and Suicide Clean Cars Help Utahns Cut Smog Now http://kuer.org/post/clean-cars-help-utahns-cut-smog-now <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">New clean fuel, clean car standards promise to be the single best way to clean up Utah’s air. State leaders say they want to accelerate these so-called Tier 3 rules in Utah. Yet, car buyers are already taking matters into their own hands, at the steering wheel.</span></p><p>Another air-scrubbing storm has just passed through Salt Lake City. But Tom Hemmersmeier is still thinking about clean cars.</p> Wed, 02 Apr 2014 14:00:00 +0000 Judy Fahys 44254 at http://kuer.org Clean Cars Help Utahns Cut Smog Now Impact Hub Salt Lake Tackles Air Quality http://kuer.org/post/impact-hub-salt-lake-tackles-air-quality <p></p><p>Entrepreneurs, activists and policy makers are joining forces Wednesday to solve air quality problems along the Wasatch front.&nbsp;The new <a href="http://saltlake.impacthub.net/">Impact Hub Salt Lake</a> is hosting what they call an innovation lab focused on finding air pollution solutions.</p> Tue, 01 Apr 2014 22:24:34 +0000 Andrea Smardon 44249 at http://kuer.org Impact Hub Salt Lake Tackles Air Quality Air Quality Advocates Grade Lawmakers http://kuer.org/post/air-quality-advocates-grade-lawmakers <p>Clean air advocates released their grades for Utah lawmakers Tuesday. Compared to past legislative sessions, lawmakers showed improvement, but advocates say there is still a lot of work to be done.&nbsp;</p> Wed, 19 Mar 2014 03:55:53 +0000 Andrea Smardon 43580 at http://kuer.org Air Quality Advocates Grade Lawmakers Air Quality Commands Lawmakers' Attention http://kuer.org/post/air-quality-commands-lawmakers-attention <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>The Salt Lake Valley was choking with winter pollution as the Legislature convened in January. Lawmakers were compelled to step up to the challenge to clear the air.</p><p>Thousands of Utahns rallied for air pollution solutions outside the state Capitol the weekend before lawmakers settled in. No one could remember another time that so many people came together to demand a stop to the smog. Sara Baldwin Auck is an advocate for Utah Clean Energy.</p> Fri, 14 Mar 2014 08:06:14 +0000 Judy Fahys 43373 at http://kuer.org Air Quality Commands Lawmakers' Attention House Advances Bill to Reduce Wood-stove Pollution http://kuer.org/post/house-advances-bill-reduce-wood-stove-pollution <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A bill to reduce wood-stove soot in Utah’s high-pollution areas is headed to the Senate after receiving House approval Thursday. The bill would help fund programs to help people who rely on </span>woodstoves<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> alone to convert to cleaner home-heating alternatives.</span></p> Fri, 07 Mar 2014 01:25:51 +0000 Judy Fahys 43033 at http://kuer.org House Advances Bill to Reduce Wood-stove Pollution Grants Help Small Businesses Reduce Emissions http://kuer.org/post/grants-help-small-businesses-reduce-emissions <p></p><p>Small businesses now have access to funding that will help improve air quality. The <a href="http://www.ucair.org/grants-loans/">UCAIR Air Assist program</a> offers funds to small businesses to buy equipment upgrades that will reduce emissions. The first grant recipient is an auto body shop in Salt Lake City.</p> Tue, 04 Mar 2014 23:47:37 +0000 Andrea Smardon 42937 at http://kuer.org Grants Help Small Businesses Reduce Emissions Utah Bill Lets State Get Tougher on Air Pollution Laws http://kuer.org/post/utah-bill-lets-state-get-tougher-air-pollution-laws <p></p><p></p><p>Utah House lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow state-specific solutions to air pollution.</p><p>Republican Rep. Becky Edwards, R- North Salt Lake, has a bill to loosen a law that prevents state environmental rules from being stricter than federal ones. She says Utah knows how to clean up its air better than the federal government does.</p><p>“HB121 allows for local control to address our local needs,” says Edwards. “This is another example of how states are more effective and do things better than the federal one-size-fits all solutions.”</p> Mon, 24 Feb 2014 22:47:02 +0000 Judy Fahys 42597 at http://kuer.org Goodbye to Winter Smog? Forecast Says the Season's Last Inversion Starts next Week http://kuer.org/post/goodbye-winter-smog-forecast-says-seasons-last-inversion-starts-next-week <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Skies have been smog-free in northern Utah for the past few days. Now the Utah Climate Center says we can breathe easy for at least another week.</span></p> Tue, 04 Feb 2014 00:24:41 +0000 Judy Fahys 41653 at http://kuer.org Goodbye to Winter Smog? Forecast Says the Season's Last Inversion Starts next Week Capitol Protestors Demand Air-Pollution Action http://kuer.org/post/capitol-protestors-demand-air-pollution-action <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">&nbsp;&nbsp;</span>&nbsp;&nbsp;</p><p>A sea of people swarmed Utah’s Capitol steps and south lawn Saturday. Thousands gathered for the Clean Air, No Excuses rally just above winter smog blanketing the valley. Brian Moench, a co-founder of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, told the demonstrators they have a right to clean air.</p> Sun, 26 Jan 2014 01:14:06 +0000 Judy Fahys 41266 at http://kuer.org Capitol Protestors Demand Air-Pollution Action Thousands Expected at Clean Air Rally Saturday http://kuer.org/post/thousands-expected-clean-air-rally-saturday <p></p><p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">Thousands of </span>Utahns<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> say they plan to join a rally at the State Capitol Saturday. They want Governor Gary Herbert and the Legislature to do something immediately about poor air quality.</span></p><p>Salt Lake City folk singer Tom Bennett wrote his song, Governor We Cannot Breathe, to be performed at tomorrow’s Clean Air, No Excuses Rally.</p> Sat, 25 Jan 2014 01:05:20 +0000 Judy Fahys 41237 at http://kuer.org Utah Foundation Releases Report on Air Quality http://kuer.org/post/utah-foundation-releases-report-air-quality <p></p> Fri, 24 Jan 2014 00:29:34 +0000 Judy Fahys 41182 at http://kuer.org Utah Foundation Releases Report on Air Quality Lawmakers Unveil Air Quality Bills http://kuer.org/post/lawmakers-unveil-air-quality-bills <p></p><p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">A bipartisan caucus of Utah House members has unveiled a package of air-pollution bills. They say the proposals will Utah’s air easier to breathe. The measures include incentives for consumers to buy cleaner snow-blowers and weed whackers. There is one bill that would ban medical waste incinerators in the state. Another proposal would allow the state to authorize environmental regulations that are more rigorous than federal laws.</span></p> Thu, 23 Jan 2014 04:40:25 +0000 Judy Fahys 41131 at http://kuer.org Lawmakers Unveil Air Quality Bills U of U Students Develop Video Game App to Combat Air Pollution http://kuer.org/post/u-u-students-develop-video-game-app-combat-air-pollution <p></p><p>University of Utah graduate students are developing a video game app to help Utahns better understand the connection between their actions and the dirty air.&nbsp;</p><p>Kerry Kelly is Associate Director of the University of Utah’s program for Air Quality, Health and Society. She says her role is to make sure this game is backed up by scientific evidence. But here’s one of the ideas they’re considering:</p> Fri, 17 Jan 2014 23:54:20 +0000 Whittney Evans 40962 at http://kuer.org U of U Students Develop Video Game App to Combat Air Pollution University of Utah Announces Grants for Study of Air Pollution http://kuer.org/post/university-utah-announces-grants-study-air-pollution <p></p><p>The University of Utah has awarded six <a href="http://www.airquality.utah.edu/air-quality-seed-grant-award-recipients/">researchers</a> grants to study the consequences of regional air pollution.&nbsp; The seed grants, which total $165,000, are the first to come out of a new cross-disciplinary program focused on air quality. &nbsp;</p> Tue, 07 Jan 2014 23:42:08 +0000 Andrea Smardon 40529 at http://kuer.org University of Utah Announces Grants for Study of Air Pollution Air Quality Bills to Focus on Changing Utahns’ Behavior http://kuer.org/post/air-quality-bills-focus-changing-utahns-behavior <p></p><p>Utah’s air quality issues became evident early this winter, and state lawmakers are working on a number of bills to address the problem. Most of them are focused on getting Utah citizens to change their behavior.</p><p>Air pollution was reportedly a hot topic at the most recent Utah Republican House caucus. But Republican Representative Jim Nielson of Bountiful says it’s not a partisan issue, and lawmakers have been working together to address it.</p> Thu, 02 Jan 2014 23:15:03 +0000 Andrea Smardon 40329 at http://kuer.org Air Quality Bills to Focus on Changing Utahns’ Behavior State Health Department Investigating Hazards of Medical Waste Incineration http://kuer.org/post/state-health-department-investigating-hazards-medical-waste-incineration <p><span style="line-height: 1.5;">The Utah Department of Health is doing a public health assessment in the North Salt Lake neighborhood near </span>Stericycle’s<span style="line-height: 1.5;"> medical waste incinerator. State officials say they are focused primarily on investigating levels of cancer-causing dioxins in the soil.</span></p> Thu, 24 Oct 2013 21:06:30 +0000 Andrea Smardon 37234 at http://kuer.org State Health Department Investigating Hazards of Medical Waste Incineration Utah Hospitals Reconsider Medical Waste Disposal http://kuer.org/post/utah-hospitals-reconsider-medical-waste-disposal <p></p><p>Amid public concern about air pollution generated by Stericycle’s North Salt Lake incinerator, two major hospital systems in Utah say they are reconsidering their processes for disposing of medical waste. Officials from University of Utah Health Sciences and Intermountain Healthcare say they are exploring their options, but are continuing to use Stericycle’s incinerator for the time being.</p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 23:42:33 +0000 Andrea Smardon 36979 at http://kuer.org Utah Hospitals Reconsider Medical Waste Disposal Stericycle Denies Air Pollution Violations http://kuer.org/post/stericycle-denies-air-pollution-violations <p></p><p></p><p>As activists and community members step up the pressure to shut down a North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator, Stericycle officials are denying the company violated emissions limits or rigged stack test results. They are <a href="http://www.airquality.utah.gov/Public-Interest/Current-Issues/stericycle/docs/2013/09Sep/Stericycle_ReqAgencyAct_09-27-13.pdf">challenging</a> a list of citations filed by Utah regulators against the company&#39;s incinerator. That means the beginning of a legal process that could take months.</p> Mon, 30 Sep 2013 22:11:51 +0000 Andrea Smardon 36130 at http://kuer.org Stericycle Denies Air Pollution Violations Stericycle May Move Incinerator Out of North Salt Lake http://kuer.org/post/stericycle-may-move-incinerator-out-north-salt-lake <p></p><p>As angry residents continue to protest Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator and its toxic emissions, some local officials have been discussing the possibility of moving the plant to another location.</p><p>North Salt Lake Mayor Len Arave met with Stericycle’s &nbsp;Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs earlier this week. He says he thinks the incinerator should find another home outside the city, and that Stericycle may be open to that possibility.</p> Wed, 11 Sep 2013 23:12:39 +0000 Andrea Smardon 35268 at http://kuer.org Stericycle May Move Incinerator Out of North Salt Lake