air pollution | KUER 90.1

air pollution

Judy Fahys/KUER

Emergency agencies counted 1,100 fires last July, during the peak season for fireworks in Utah. And, even though fireworks caused only some of those blazes, state lawmakers are getting new restrictions ready before next summer.

Utah Division of Air Quality

Smoky September skies are dragging out a high-pollution trend that’s dogged Utah all summer.

File / KUER News

Utah’s air quality regulators say they’re still working on a comprehensive plan to clean up winter pollution, but they probably won’t get it done until weeks or even months after it’s due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

KUER File Photo

Northern Utah has had more high ozone days this summer than it did in the past few years. That was the gist of the summary that Bo Call gave while speaking Wednesday at Utah’s Air Quality Board meeting.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Susan Lee has always been the kind of person to bike to her kids’ soccer games, hike the Grand Canyon with them or ride 500 miles for charity. So, the diagnosis nearly three years ago was shocking. She had a lung cancer.

dimid_86 for iStockphoto

A new state law allows cooking with wood, even when winter smog makes northern Utah’s air unhealthy. Now new scientific data shows that wood-burning turns out to be a bigger part of the problem than anyone realized.

dimid_86 for iStockphoto

The Utah Air Quality Board, hasn’t asked for a veto in a decade -- until now.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Utah legislators delivered some big messages on public lands during this year’s 45 days of lawmaking. But air-quality and other environmental concerns saw only modest gains – along with some setbacks.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

The Utah Division of Air Quality runs its pollution monitoring program out of a warehouse in West Valley City. Bo Call oversees it, and he looks on as a technician troubleshoots a busted pollution sampler – one of about a dozen.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

If you’ve seen or heard a Twin Otter buzzing close overhead lately, there’s a good chance Robert Mitchell was in it. He’s commander of this National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s small plane that’s loaded with scientific gear to gather pollution data.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Students from the Madeleine Choir School marched through the snowy, chilly morning Thursday.

They chanted “What do you want? Clean air. When do you want it? Right now” on their way to the Capitol steps. That’s where hundreds gathered to rally anyone who’d listen.

KUER

Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has asked the city council to consider an ordinance that she says would dramatically cut back on air pollution. The council will vet the proposal in the coming weeks.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Just in time for Northern Utah’s winter smog season, federal environmental regulators are seeking public input on the latest plans to cut pollution spikes.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

People buying new cars in the final days of 2016 might not realize it, but their decisions will affect air-quality.

Manny and Loralee Kurzius have just signed papers at the Tesla dealership for an electric car they’ve been longing for. Tax rebates are one factor for their year-end purchase. Pollution’s another.

“Clean air is huge for us,” says Loralee.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Environmentalists have complained for years about expanding refineries adding pollution to the Salt Lake Valley’s air.

Mark A. Philbrick / BYU Photo

A new study from Brigham Young University shows that air pollution sends the human body into high alert -- even in healthy people.

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.

istockphoto.com: 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: / purpleair.org

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.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The search for solutions to Utah’s winter pollution episodes has focused on industrial smokestacks and the tailpipes of cars and trucks. But homes and businesses represent a big  and growing  part of the problem. They're  called “area sources” and KUER wanted to find out why it’s so hard to cut their emissions.

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
FLICKR CREATIVE COMMONS

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.

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