The Utah Division of Air Quality regulates airborne dust and other pollution from sand and gravel operations – and a new legislative audit says it could be doing a better job.
The Legislative Auditor General’s office cites lost paperwork, long delays and enforcement of permits that haven’t been issued yet as problems in the way the division regulates sand and gravel operations.
Bryce Bird, the director of the Division of Air Quality, says it’s clear there’s room for improvement.
“If they were able to find some issues, concerns with lost documents, with not tracking the timeliness of our permitting actions, that is a concern for us as well," Bird told KUER in an interview. "We’re going to be spreading that out to all the programs that we permit, making sure that we’re focusing on documenting, that we’re getting the correct information, that people understand the requirements.”
The audit also pointed out that most of the sand and gravel operations that have DAQ permits are satisfied with the way the division operates. Mike Dalley is the sustainability manager for the Staker-Parson company.
“They’ve held several stakeholder meetings where they invited us as an industry to come in and speak and voice our concerns," Dalley says. "And they’ve worked very closely with us. And we’re pretty happy with the process, how that goes.”
Bird says the division will have to provide a follow-up report to the legislature in about a year.
Andrea Smardon contributed to this story.