UCAIR – the program that encourages Utahns to voluntarily reduce air pollution – has a new boss. It’s Ted Wilson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City.
Until recently, Ted Wilson was working for the Talisker Corporation, the owners of The Canyons ski area. He was picked by the Utah Clean Air Partnership Board to replace Shawni McAllister, who left for personal reasons.
Wilson arrived at UCAIR just in time to respond to a study by former University of Utah professor Harvey Miller that said Utahns often drive more on red air quality alert days, hoping to escape winter inversions by driving up the canyons.
Wilson says newer data from the Utah Department of Transportation is showing improvements in driver cooperation on bad air days, and he thinks new transit lines will also help the problem. And he thinks voluntary programs like UCAIR will eventually get people to change their habits.
“Someone who drops the kids off at school. Someone who maybe burns a fire in the winter because they enjoy it in the fireplace and contributes to the PM-2 problem. All of us have our own little problems regarding air quality, to try to get into people’s minds that they can, rather easily, do some things, even if they’re small to help the problem,” Wilson told KUER.
UCAIR began as a state program, but it became a private non-profit entity earlier this year. Right now, Wilson is its only employee.