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.

Ways to Connect

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.

Hot Weather Digs In

Jun 22, 2015
Judy Fahys/KUER

It’s been pretty hot in Utah lately, and the forecast for the week heading into the July Fourth holiday weekend calls for the warm and dry conditions to dig in.

Doc Searls / Flickr Creative Commons

The federal government approved a big coal lease in central Utah Friday over the objections of environmental groups.

Judy Fahys/KUER

  Pope Francis lent his voice Thursday to the argument that climate change is a moral problem with the release of his long-awaited encyclical on the issue.

Several groups in Utah are embracing the message.

Judy Fahys/KUER

New plans to mine oil sands in Utah are under review. But environmentalists say state regulators need to take a harder look at the details.

Judy Fahys/KUER

By Thursday morning, officials in the cities of Syracuse and Clinton had lifted boil-water notices that had been in place since last week. Potentially dangerous fecal coliform and the bacteria e. coli were found in drinking water systems. In separate incidents in each community, pipes for untreated irrigation water had been accidently connected to culinary lines.

Judy Fahys/KUER

One hundred North American scientists are calling for a moratorium on oil sands projects. They say oil sands projects and pipelines damage the environment, and they want new projects stopped.

Matt Hobbs / Flickr Creative Commons

The panel that used to set Utah’s radiation control policies held its final meeting on Tuesday. And, as its last official act, the Utah Radiation Control Board created a new advisory panel to guide future decisions on cancer treatments, diagnostic tools and other medical uses of radiation.

Judy Fahys/KUER

State regulators are forecasting increasing pollution over the next couple of days. It’s a sign that the ozone pollution season is getting underway and that it’s time to start paying attention to preventing it and taking precautions.