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.

Ways to Connect

Lee Hale / KUER News

Congressman Rob Bishop handily won an eighth term in Washington Tuesday.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

A new kind of energy is fueling this season for the Utah Jazz. That’s because the Vivint Smart Home Arena is now powered by the sun.

While coal interests have retained their strong preference for Republican presidential candidates, oil and gas interests have shifted their spending to Clinton in the general election.

Fossil fuel companies have a history of backing Republican candidates. But this year’s unusual presidential campaign appears to be having a strange ripple effect on political giving -- at least from the oil and gas industry.

 

Mark A. Philbrick / BYU Photo

A new study from Brigham Young University shows that air pollution sends the human body into high alert -- even in healthy people.

Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute / University of Utah

A glimpse into Utah’s future has retirees making up a bigger portion of the population – much bigger – as Utah’s population nearly doubles in the next half-century. And that trend is going to have a big impact on today’s children.

Courtesy / The Conservation Alliance

Outdoor recreation companies have thrown their support behind a proposed Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah. In a letter, the Conservation Alliance urges the Obama Administration to embrace a proposal by Native Americans to conserve 1.9 million acres.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah’s trust-lands agency netted $5.5 million this week for a fund that benefits schoolchildren. Private owners made the highest bids now own more than 3,800 acres of land that’s also prized for scenery, history and recreation.

Courtesy: / Architectural Nexus and The Nature Conservancy

More and more bats are losing good homes in Davis County to human development, like roads and residences. So designers at the firm, Architectural Nexus, are taking up the challenge of building them a custom condo.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Bill Barron tuned into last week’s debate between Republican Sen. Mike Lee and his Democratic challenger, Misty Snow, just like a lot of other Utahns.

nandyphotos / istockphoto.com

The Radiation Control and Waste Management Board is looking for a new way to get guidance on regulating the medical use of radiation -- after scrapping rules to do just that.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

A new study names air quality as the second-highest priority for Utah voters. More than two-thirds of voters who were polled by the non-partisan Utah Foundation say they are pretty concerned about the issue.

Jeffrey Moore / University of Utah Department of Geology and Geophysics

Geologist Jeffrey Moore led a team to Rainbow Bridge last year to listen to the sandstone mass. The researchers used seismic sensors the size of coffee cups to detect vibrations from the famous arch. The sensors even let them hear the rock itself gently swaying in the canyon winds and earthquakes.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Last year state lawmakers combined two environmental agencies -- one that handled radiation control and one that oversaw solid and hazardous waste disposal. Now some medical professionals in Utah fear the move puts patients at risk.

Union Pacific Railroad / From a Utah DWQ status report

Union Pacific Railroad is delaying plans to breach a causeway that separates the north and south arms of the Great Salt Lake.

hknoblauch / istockphoto.com

Rex Larsen grows alfalfa, corn and seed barley and raises cattle on his farm west of Spanish Fork. He’s fifth generation and thinking about retiring.

“That’s a real challenge for me as I look at the future.”

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Congressman Rob Bishop’s Public Lands Initiative sparked a testy debate on the control of public lands on Wednesday even while it received praise all around at its first hearing in Washington.  That’s because it’s considered a rare public lands compromise that sets boundaries for conservation, mining and off-roading.

hknoblauch / istockphoto.com

A state task force is polishing its report to Gov. Gary Herbert on preparing for Utah’s future water needs. Some environmentalists are criticizing the group for snubbing public input.

zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee says oil and gas companies would be doing a lot more to clean up pollution if they knew they could avoid sanctions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

A congressional committee takes a look on Thursday at the Utah Public Lands Initiative, the proposal billed as an alternative to a Bears Ears National Monument.

ES3N/istockphoto.com

Low water on the Great Salt Lake is raising concern. The worries are economic and ecological as the water dips close to the lowest level it’s ever been.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Carlos Wheeldon dreamed about the world-famous salt speedway as a child growing up in England. He’s traveled to Utah nine times to be part of the World of Speed race that takes place each fall on the Bonneville Salt Flats in Utah’s West Desert. And this year he’s worried.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

There was a time not too long ago when storytellers gathered in Provo Canyon. Their tales ranged from silly to spooky. It was the Timpanogos Storytelling Festival, and people came from near and far to hear the tales of pros like Bil Lepp, a champion liar from West Virginia.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Coloradoan David Krimstock is heading out to get a better feel for the trails and prepare for the Park City Point 2 Point mountain bike race. During a couple of practice runs on the dusty mountain tracks, he saw firsthand just how hot and dry Utah’s summer was.

temis / istockphoto.com

Ryan Evans is actually looking forward to what would normally a pretty dull legislative meeting this month, when the Revenue and Taxation Interim Committee  reviews the state’s $2,000 solar-panel tax credit. Evans is the new leader of the Utah Solar Energy Association, and he’s excited about sharing the good news his industry has for Utah’s economy.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Carl Ingwell says he had no idea corporations were contributing to the environmental humanities program. Then he saw developers like Kennecott Land and the Boyer Company listed as “friends” of environmental humanities.  Ingwell also saw the Utah Mining Association and the Rocky Mountain Elk Foundation on the list.

zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

Environmentalists have launched a new campaign against climate change. They’re trying to slow oil and gas development on public lands just as the energy industry is trying to get the federal government to step it up.

The Uintah Basin Energy Summit takes place this week, and the controversy’s started even before the program begins. That’s because Wednesday’s keynote speech is being given by prominent climate change denier, Marc Morano.

Scott Daly / Utah Department of Environmental Quality

The worst of a silt spill at the Tibble Fork Dam has passed. Now health and environment officials are assessing the extent of the damage and risks ahead.

“We’re in response mode right now to be able to alert the public if there are concerns,” Walt Baker is director of the Utah Division of Water Quality. “That will all be spelled out in our release of the data.”

AndrewSoundarajan/ / istockphoto.com

Utah is home to five parks, seven national monuments and a national historic site. They’re part of the national park system’s centennial celebration this week even as a debate continues about federal management of public lands.

Utah Division of Water Quality

Seventy-five-thousand dollars. That’s the sum the state paid for two week’s worth of testing at Utah Lake during the height of last month’s cyanobacteria outbreak. July’s heat combined with pollution from runoff and sewer plants created a poisonous stew of toxic bacteria and thick mats of green sludge. Health and environment officials fielded hundreds of calls.

Pages