Judy Fahys


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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Chesley Chen / Wikimedia Commons

State environmental officials have been checking the safety of water downstream of the Gold King Mine spill in Colorado.

Ron Cogswell / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah officials have been on the lookout out for impacts from last week’s Gold King Mine wastewater spill. On Wednesday, they received more information from downstream, although the answers aren’t conclusive. 

Utah Division of Water Quality

State environmental officials said Tuesday they’re still monitoring water in Utah section of the San Juan River, but so far they haven’t detected contamination from last week’s Gold King Mine waste spill.

Judy Fahys/KUER

State leaders are following through with their recent promise to back up San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah regulators have been preparing more than a year for the Environmental Protection Agency’s new regulations to cut greenhouse gases from power plants. But the state’s top attorney is demanding that EPA put those new controls on hold.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Ads in Salt Lake City’s daily newspapers Thursday urge people to transform their support for public lands into political action. It’s part of the outdoor industry’s new counteroffensive against efforts to put federal lands under state control.

booizzy / Flickr Creative Commons

The outdoor recreation industry is meeting again in Salt Lake City this week. The Outdoor Retailers’ (OR) Summer Market is partly a gathering of retail trend spotters, partly a brainstorming for conservation activists. But it’s also a business convention, with more than twenty-eight thousand people pumping over twenty-million-dollars into the local economy over a few days. 

Courtesy: / Wasatch Waste and Recycling District

Salt Lake City has offered curbside glass recycling for almost three years. Now the service is debuting in a few county neighborhoods, where recycling glass has meant a trip to those big recycling bins scattered in parking lots around the valley.

Dan Bammes

Supporters and critics of the Obama administration’s Clean Power Plan have only begun to size up what the new carbon-pollution controls might mean in Utah, and their first impressions differ.

Courtesy / SolarCity

State economic development officials say thousands of new jobs are coming to Utah in the solar-energy industry.

Brian Grimmett

A state panel signed off on new commitments this week to track the pollution that leaves National Park vistas hazy. But the controversy over the state’s cleanup plan is expected to continue.

File: Utah Solar Energy Association

The world’s largest alternative energy development company, SunEdison Inc., announced last week it’s buying a Utah rooftop solar company in what some people see as a sign of a power revolution.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Jeff Burton’s family has seen highs and lows in the home-building industry at Burton Lumber, so knowing that the Consumer Attitude Index in Utah dipped a bit from highs recorded in May and June doesn’t bother him much.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Steve Thon works for Provident Energy, and he’s showing off an exterior wall in a highly efficient home at the Daybreak development.

The National Governors Association

Utah Governor Gary Herbert, the National Governors Association’s new leader, talked Monday about his goals for the group in the year ahead

Judy Fahys/KUER

If you’ve spent any time in the bustling heart of Salt Lake City anytime lately, it probably sounded lively and full of people, like Main Street during lunch hour. Compare that to the lone footsteps of a man walking just a few blocks away, behind the Salt Palace.

Judy Fahys/KUER

  Katie Montenegro is a vector control technician at the Salt Lake City Mosquito Abatement District. She’s in the lab, peering through a magnifying glass at a pile of dead mosquitos. She picks one.


As the probe continues this week into the shooting death of a wild horse on public lands, animal welfare groups have put up rewards for bringing the killer to justice.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

  Scientists are taking an in-depth look at Red Butte Creek this week to understand the dynamic between the West’s mountain streams and the communities they serve.

Judy Fahys/KUER

California’s been excited about news that El Nino weather might bring some drought relief this fall and winter. But Utahns shouldn’t get their hopes up about getting the same cooler, rainier climate California expects.

Courtesy: / Basic Research

Mayor Ralph Becker’s office recognized five Salt Lake City organizations this week for helping clean up the air by reducing emissions from their buildings.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utahns care about their air – more so than just about anything except education and water. That’s what a think tank told lawmakers Wednesday during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Courtesy: / Mountain Accord

The mountains forming Salt Lake City’s stunning backdrop are in danger of being loved to death. But now a new agreement, the Mountain Accord, aims to preserve this important and iconic landscape.

Screenshot / NASA.gov Web Page

NASA’s New Horizons spacecraft is zipping past the dwarf planet Pluto. Scientists are excited about what they might learn from the data it gathers during its brief fly by.

This weekend’s holiday means fireworks and outdoor fun for many Utahns. It also means more fire risk.

Just ask Jason Curry. He's Utah’s state fire spokesman. He didn’t have to go far from his downtown office Wednesday to find a hillside covered in golden grass. It’s just above lush Memory Grove, but the grass here is thigh-high and so dry that it’s brittle.

Judy Fahys/KUER

State mining regulators heard arguments for and against the nation’s first oil sands mine, which is being built in eastern Utah.

Dozens of critics turned out to weigh in Tuesday on a proposal to expand the project.

Thomas Hawk / Flickr Creative Commons

The U.S. Supreme Court cleared the way Monday for Death Row prisoners to continue being executed by lethal injection. It’s a case that’s been watched in Utah, where the use of firing squads is a backup method of execution.

Judy Fahys/KUER

County commissioners gathered in a state Capitol hearing room Wednesday seeking aid for one of their own. San Juan County Commissioner Phil Lyman’s supporters left a pile of cash to help with his criminal case – but it didn’t include taxpayer money.

Steve Schmidt / Western Rivers Flyfisher

The group Trout Unlimited says the nation’s trout are in trouble.

Development, invasive species and climate change are threats that have pushed the native trout to just one quarter of the places they used to thrive nationwide. TU’s president and CEO, Chris Wood, told reporters in a conference call Tuesday it’s not just a problem for people who like to fish.

Don Brubeck / Flickr Creative Commons

Congress is considering an Internet sales tax once again. This time the effort’s being led by U.S. Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah.