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

Judy Fahys / KUER News

People buying new cars in the final days of 2016 might not realize it, but their decisions will affect air-quality.

Manny and Loralee Kurzius have just signed papers at the Tesla dealership for an electric car they’ve been longing for. Tax rebates are one factor for their year-end purchase. Pollution’s another.

“Clean air is huge for us,” says Loralee.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

The State Capitol became a stage Monday for Utahns to call on President Barack Obama -- some asking him to declare a Bears Ears National Monument and others pledging to fight it.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Governor Gary Herbert said he checked in with the White House recently on rumors about the Bears Ears National Monument in southeastern Utah.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Environmentalists have complained for years about expanding refineries adding pollution to the Salt Lake Valley’s air.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

U.S. Oil Sands is temporarily shuttering operations in eastern Utah at its mine on the Tavaputs Plateau.

Barclay Cuthbert, the Canadian company’s vice president of operations, says most workers have been sent home. But they’ll be back early next year to begin extracting oil from the tar-saturated rock and soil.

Courtesy / Utah League of Native American Voters

To get a decent cell signal at the protest camp outside the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, Carol Surveyor had to brave a blizzard Monday.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

More Utahns are stepping up support for the Standing Rock Sioux, and they’re mobilizing as Dakota Access Pipeline opponents face a deadline Monday to evacuate their protest camps.

Ray Bloxham / Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance

Central Utah’s Nine Mile Canyon isn’t just beautiful. It’s important to Native Americans, conservationists and historians.

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

A chemical known as PCE has leaked from thousands of dry-cleaning operations around the country. One of them was at the VA Medical Center in Salt Lake City, and Utah’s Superfund officials have been working on a cleanup strategy with the hospital, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and people who live in the area.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

She calls herself a right-wing conservative, but Janalee Tobias immersed herself in liberal social media this fall. Now she says she understands better how the political climate has gotten so tense.

Nathan Schwebach / Utah Department of Natural Resources

A long-awaited breach in the Great Salt Lake Causeway could begin as soon as next week.

Courtesy / EnergySolutions Inc.

Salt Lake City-based EnergySolutions Inc. announced plans a year ago to buy a Texas company, Waste Control Specialists.

Corey Dinter

Terry Tempest and Brooke Williams bid on oil and gas leases last winter in a U.S. Bureau of Land Management auction. The agency rejected their bids last month on grounds the couple had no plans to actually drill for oil and gas.

Rep. Jeremy Peterson presentation / Utah State Legislature

Lawmakers took a first step Wednesday toward phasing out the state tax credit for rooftop solar panels.

Courtesy: / Mountain Accord

The Mountain Accord is a plan for protecting the canyons outside the state's most populated county. But the local management plan ran into national politics Tuesday as the coalition behind the Mountain Accord delivered a unified pitch to the U.S. House Subcommittee on Federal Lands.

U.S. Bureau of Reclamation

Environmental advocates want to use water from the nation’s second-largest reservoir to fill its largest one. But new research suggests the benefits might not be as obvious as they say.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Rocky Mountain Power says its new study shows how rooftop solar customers are being subsidized by households that don’t rely on solar panels. It’s the latest in the two-year fight between Utah’s electric power monopoly and solar advocates over net metering -- basically what solar customers pay to remain part of the grid.

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.

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