air pollution

American Thoracic Society and Marron Institute Report

The American Thoracic Society is one of the organizations that has argued for years that less pollution would mean healthier Americans. The Environmental Protection Agency seemed to be listening last year when it tightened national ozone standards – a little. But new research suggests that even tougher pollution controls could save lives and improve health.

KUER News File

Federal regulators have a special category for “Hazardous Air Pollutants.” And, when scientists at the Division of Air Quality went looking a few years ago, they found a few of those 180 pollutants at elevated levels in the Salt Lake Valley. 8213erika

The smoke from fireworks skyrocketed pollution levels in Salt Lake, Weber, Tooele and Utah counties last weekend.  Monitors in Salt Lake County showed air quality ranging from unhealthy and very unhealthy for over four hours.

Ozone Season Digs In

Jun 3, 2016
Judy Fahys / KUER News

Forecasters say warm, sunny weather is here to stay for awhile. That means the summer ozone season has arrived. And so have conditions for smoggy afternoons.

kojihirano/Getty Images

Officials at the Environmental Protection Agency are expected to decide next week on new pollution controls for two coal-fired power plants in central Utah.

Nicole Nixon

Hundreds of elementary school students met at the state capitol on Thursday morning asking for solutions to the state’s air quality problem.  

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County is expanding its Vehicle Repair Assistance Program, which helps qualified residents improve their cars and the air along the Wasatch Front.

Screenshot, 3:14 p.m. Jan. 14, 2016: /

The fight over dust from a Salt Lake Valley gravel pit has produced a new network of air-quality monitors all along the Wasatch Front.

Whittney Evans

Utah Transit Authority is prepared to run more buses on cleaner fuels with its brand new compressed natural gas fueling station.

Flickr Creative Commons

Pollution levels in the final days of 2015 could sway federal regulators who are thinking about a pollution crackdown in northern Utah, while environmental groups say the cleanup should be tougher and faster.

KUER Conversations: Pollution Gets Personal

Dec 28, 2015

KUER Conversations: Pollution Gets Personal
Discussion about politics and individual choices in cleaning up Utah's air. 

Courtesy: / Tesoro Corp.

The Utah Supreme Court listened to attorneys on Wednesday arguing about pollution from a refinery, but a quip by one of the high-court justices is getting most of the attention.

Anna M. / Flickr Creative Commons

What if air pollution spikes don’t just make it harder to breathe but also make it harder to think?

That’s a question Dustin Hammers wants to answer in a study getting underway at the University of Utah. He’s a clinical neuropsychologist at the University of Utah’s Alzheimer’s Center who’s beginning a study on how spikes of wintertime pollution affect cognition.

Courtesy: / Tesoro Corp.

One of Utah’s major sources of industrial air pollution, Tesoro Refinery, is on track to get a federal Clean Air Act permit after operating for more than 15 years without one. Utah environmental regulators reached a settlement agreement Tuesday with conservation groups who had sued the state for failing to issue the permit.

espensorvik / Flickr Creative Commons

Emissions from cars and industry are usually what Utahns talk about when they debate how to cut pollution. But the category called “area sources” that includes homes and business buildings is expected to become the state’s biggest pollution source in a few years.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Wildfire smoke from the Northwest has kept Utah’s skies hazy and polluted. But storms ahead promise at least a temporary reprieve.

Salt Lake City

Salt Lake City is ramping up its Idle Free campaign in an effort to combat skyrocketing summertime air pollution.

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.

Courtesy DEQ

An environmental group is opposing the renewal of an air quality permit for Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator in North Salt Lake City. The public comment period closes Friday.

Scientists Map Salt Lake Valley Emissions

May 4, 2015
Daniel Mendoza / University of Utah Department of Atmospheric Sciences

For the first time, sources of carbon dioxide in Salt Lake County can be identified at the level of individual buildings and roadways. University of Utah researchers unveiled a new tool Monday that they say can be used to better track and combat air pollution.

Dan Bammes

Environmental advocates are appealing a decision to issue an air quality permit allowing expansion of the HollyFrontier refinery in Davis County.

UTA Tests Zero-Emissions Bus

Apr 7, 2015
Nicole Nixon

The Utah Transit Authority is testing a bus that runs completely on electricity. The 60-foot, 120 passenger bus would be the first zero-emissions vehicle to join UTA’s fleet—if it meets the transit authority’s standards.

Stephen Butler / Flickr Creative Commons

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert is scanning hundreds of recently passed bills in search of any that might deserve a veto. One that’s caught his eye would prohibit a wintertime wood-burning ban.

House Bill 396 concerns the governor because it potentially restricts the policy-setting Air Quality Board from implementing the best pollution solutions it finds.

Utahns for Responsible Burning / Facebook Screen Capture

Clean-air activists want Governor Gary Herbert to veto a bill that bars regulators from banning wood burning all winter in Utah’s polluted areas. KUER’s Judy Fahys has the story.

The idea of a wood-burning ban was aimed at averting high-pollution episodes in northern Utah basins. But the Division of Air Quality’s proposal caused a backlash and prompted lawmakers to pass a bill that outlaws a ban.

Andrea Smardon

Utah Department of Health officials released a study this week that shows increased rates of stillbirths in the Uintah Basin. But some local physicians are criticizing the study for not going deep enough.

Air Bills Advance

Mar 11, 2015
Wikipedia IC Bus CE-Series

Senators advanced important air-quality bills Tuesday. One provides clean school buses. The other permits Utah-tailored regulations.

The word “different” changed everything for a bill that gives more flexibility to state air regulators. Sen Todd Weiler, R-Woods Cross, explained that current law blocked regulators from stepping up pollution monitoring at a medical waste incinerator in his district.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Legislation to clean up Utah’s air is progressing in the State Capitol as the second half of the 2015 General Session begins.

Thiophene Guy / Flickr Creative Commons

State lawmakers rolled out nearly two dozen bills and funding requests Thursday that focus on air quality.

This session’s efforts come the year after the Legislature enacted more air-quality legislation than in the previous decade. And lawmakers want constituents to know they’re still paying attention.

Utah Transit Authority

The Salt Lake County health department is handing out thousands of free public transit passes to Salt Lake County residents. They hope the effort will get more people on buses and trains and out of personal vehicles that contribute to air pollution.

Image courtesy Navitus Sustainable Industries

A new company has a proposal to turn Sandy city's household trash into electric energy. If approved, it would be the first facility of its kind in Utah. The Department of Environmental Quality is holding a hearing Thursday evening in Sandy to discuss the proposal.