Judy Fahys

Reporter

Judy Fahys has reported in Utah for two decades, covering politics, government and business before taking on environmental issues. She loves covering Utah, where petroleum-pipeline spills, the nation’s radioactive legacy and other types of pollution provide endless fodder for stories. Previously, she worked for the Salt Lake Tribune in Utah, and reported on the nation’s capital for States News Service and the Scripps League newspaper chain. She is a longtime member of the Society of Environmental Journalists and Investigative Reporters and Editors. She also spent an academic year as a research fellow in the Knight Science Journalism program at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. In her spare time, she enjoys being out in the environment, especially hiking, gardening and watercolor painting.

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emrah gAltekin / istockphoto.com

A state appeals court has rejected a challenge by environmental groups who were trying to block plans for Utah’s first nuclear power plant. Now one of those environmental groups is challenging the nuclear company’s plan to move forward.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Senator Mike Lee is hosting a field hearing in southeastern Utah today on the proposed Bears Ears National Monument, and Congressman Rob Bishop and Governor Gary Herbert are scheduled to testify. They oppose a tribal coalition's proposal to create the monument here, and they want to persuade the Obama administration that Utah doesn’t want it. But U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell heard different views when she visited the area earlier this month. KUER's Judy Fahys caught up with her after a listening session as members of the tribal coalition gathered in a meadow below Bears Ears Buttes.

Christina R. Sloan/ Friends of Indian Creek

Utah’s economic officials are taking outdoor fun seriously. They’re fielding new applications for matching grants to fund outdoor recreation projects.

“There’s a lot of imagination here,” says Tom Adams, director of the Utah Office of Outdoor Recreation, the first of its kind in the nation. “And the term ‘outdoor recreation’ is really vast.”

BEN HOLCOMB, HARMFUL ALGAL BLOOM COORDINATOR, UTAH DEPARTMENT OF ENVIRONMENTAL QUALITY

Environmental officials can’t say when the algal blooms that are poisoning local lakes and streams might fade. But there are already signs this summer’s bacteria episode will have lingering impacts on state policies.

KUER News File

A new analysis of campaign fundraising shows Utah Congressman Rob Bishop has been raising a larger share of money from outside the state than any other lawmaker in the U.S. House of Representatives.

Rep. Rob Bishop, R-Utah, is known for touting the high value of local voices in national decisions. But new data from the non-profit Center for Responsive Politics suggests that out-of-state interests are having an outsized impact impact on his campaign war chest.

Justin Miller / Wasatch Canyons Foundation

Imagine helping to preserve a little plot in Big Cottonwood Canyon. It’s an old mining claim not far from where moose like to loiter in the shade and mountain goats hang out.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Hundreds of people descended on the tiny town of Bluff over the weekend to have a voice on public lands decisions being made in Washington.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

A sweeping lands plan for eastern Utah became proposed legislation on Thursday. Members of Utah’s congressional delegation introduce a pair of bills based on the Public Lands Initiative they’ve been working on for three years.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

U.S. Interior Secretary Sally Jewell begins a three-day tour of southeastern Utah Thursday. She’s planning to visit archeological sites that would be protected in the proposed Bears Ears National Monument. She’s also meeting people who say local ideas should drive conservation, not Washington.

KUER News File

Federal regulators have a special category for “Hazardous Air Pollutants.” And, when scientists at the Division of Air Quality went looking a few years ago, they found a few of those 180 pollutants at elevated levels in the Salt Lake Valley.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Illegal drones are blamed for raising the cost -- and hazard -- of the Saddle Fire in southwestern Utah this summer more than once. So Governor Gary Herbert will ask lawmakers to approve legislation to address the problem.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Freedom Shearer-Davis is tapping the contents a small plastic cup onto a plant that hugs the ground. This puncture vine – also known as goathead -- is dotted with deceptively dainty yellow flowers. The weevils look like a wad of dryer lint spilling out.

The little-known Community Impact Board usually spends its meetings considering funding requests for rural Utah projects like a new justice center in Grantsville or improvements at Grand County’s airport.

KUER News

A watchdog group is joining the call for an investigation into the expenses of Utah’s lands-transfer lawsuit.

  • A $1,300 receipt for staying at the posh Grand America Hotel.
  • A beer tab prohibited in state contracts.
  • Lawyers charging $500 an hour and more for public relations and lobbying.

istockphoto.com: 8213erika

The smoke from fireworks skyrocketed pollution levels in Salt Lake, Weber, Tooele and Utah counties last weekend.  Monitors in Salt Lake County showed air quality ranging from unhealthy and very unhealthy for over four hours.

istockphoto.com: hanusst

An inconspicuous state panel known as the Community Impact Board will meet this week for the first time since the  Oakland, Calif., City Council voted to ban coal shipments. Board member Jae Potter says it’s disappointing, but Oakland’s move won’t derail support here for Utah coal.

The U.S. Department of Interior finalized its new royalty rules June 30, prompting criticism from industry and support among environmental organizations.

istockphoto

The seventh annual Clear the Air Challenge starts Friday. It’s a contest aimed at reducing summer ozone pollution that drew over seven thousand people last year. Together, they cut pollution by 646 tons.

About a dozen people are crowded into a living room in Holladay to hear Ty Markham. She's a Democrat running for Utah House District 73. It spans six downstate counties that include voters from Beaver to Monticello and Kanab. Its been represented by Republican Mike Noel for over a decade.

Courtesy: National Rural Electric Cooperative Association

Former Utah Congressman Jim Matheson has a new job. Starting mid-July, he’ll lead the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association.

Courtesy: / Enefit American Oil

The U.S. Bureau of Land Management is taking comments through Tuesday on what could be the nation’s first shale oil mine.

University of Utah

University of Utah researchers say they’ve discovered a new way to hinder the AIDS virus, and their findings opens door for new treatments that have fewer side effects.

File: Utah Solar Energy Association

How we get and use energy is changing fast in the West, and a debate is heating up about the best way to cut costs -- and pollution -- as part of the transformation.

Sara Leseberg Ralston

Green issues are capturing more attention in politics these days. It’s true in community elections and in the national vote, according to the author of a new book on energy politics. And the creator of a new political action committee in Utah agrees.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Work stopped in eastern Utah last winter at the first tar sands mine in the United States. But now investors and improving oil prices have cleared the way for the project to restart.

Ozone Season Digs In

Jun 3, 2016
Judy Fahys / KUER News

Forecasters say warm, sunny weather is here to stay for awhile. That means the summer ozone season has arrived. And so have conditions for smoggy afternoons.

David White/University of Utah

Someone trying to guess how good the skiing will be in the Wasatch next season will often ask: “How wet will it be?”

kojihirano/Getty Images

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to decide next week on new pollution controls for two coal-fired power plants in central Utah.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah’s Native Plant Society has just updated its catalog to create a new listing that isn’t just comprehensive but also speaks volumes about how our world is changing.

Courtesy: / Governor's Office of Energy Development

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has already declared that energy is a top priority in his administration. Now he’s inviting the head of his energy development office to join his inner circle. Citing her public- and private-sector experience, he announced Laura Nelson’s promotion on Tuesday at the 5th annual Energy Development Summit.

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