air pollution

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.

Tesoro Corporation

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.

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.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A group of Utah business leaders want to reduce pollution by encouraging more people to drive electric cars to work. They announced a new initiative at the state capitol Tuesday to help make that happen. / University of Utah Entertainment Arts and Engineering Department

Computer game students at the University of Utah have developed a tool to teach teens about the science and politics behind winter pollution.

Tim Slover


The Utah Clean Air Partnership has awarded a $25,000 grant to Salt Lake County to help repair vehicles with poor emissions. 

Flickr Creative Commons

  Air pollution used to be something Utahns just griped about. That’s changing, according to Kerry Kelly a University of Utah scientist and member of the state Air Quality Board.

JT / Flickr Creative Commons

  Many people think it’s a good idea to idle their cars for a few minutes to warm them up during cold weather. It used to be recommended.

Flickr Creative Commons

Northern Utah is bracing for the first pollution episode of the new year, thanks to a multi-day inversion that has started building on the Wasatch Front.

Judy Fahys/KUER

State regulators say banning wood-burning in winter would protect northern Utah’s air from harmful pollution. The battle over that idea is about to heat up, about a year after Governor Gary Herbert announced plans to idle wood stoves in northern Utah for the entire winter.

Cathy / Flickr Creative Commons

Environmentalists want state regulators to come up with a tougher plan to clean up air pollution in rural Utah caused by coal-fired power plants.

Flickr Creative Commons

A new study released from the Harvard School of Public Health shows a link between exposure to particulate air pollution and autism.


Atmospheric scientists at the University of Utah have installed an air quality monitor on a Utah Transit Authority TRAX train. It’s helping them get a detailed picture of air pollution around the Salt Lake valley.

Utah Department of Transportation

Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy announced plans Wednesday to tighten limits on ground-level ozone pollution.

“The science clearly tells us that ozone poses a real threat to our health,” said McCarthy in a conference call with reporters, “especially to growing children and older Americans and those of us with heart or lung conditions and those who are active or who work outside.”

Utah Department of Environmental Quality


Regulators are relying on a growing body of scientific information to craft better pollution controls for the energy industry. They’re drawing on some of the results that scientists have gathered on the Uinta Basin’s ozone pollution problem.