Air Quality

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.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Steve Thon works for Provident Energy, and he’s showing off an exterior wall in a highly efficient home at the Daybreak development.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utahns care about their air – more so than just about anything except education and water. That’s what a think tank told lawmakers Wednesday during a hearing on Capitol Hill.

Salt Lake City

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

Brian Grimmett

Salt Lake and Davis Counties logged their first Red Air Days of the summer season Wednesday.

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.

Jacob B. Frank / National Park Service

State air-quality officials have updated plans to clean up haze in the skies around Utah’s national parks, and they’re sending it to federal regulators for their approval over the objections of environmental advocates.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Spring is typically a time when northern Utah’s air is pretty clean, but the business community doesn’t want clear skies to let political leaders forget that improving air quality is essential for making Utah an attractive place to do business.

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.

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.

Courtesy: / Utah Department of Transportation

Utah lawmakers took a big step on air quality last week by passing a bill that creates incentives for refineries to make cleaner gasoline in Utah.

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.

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

The controversy over wood-burning and air pollution flared up again Tuesday before a legislative committee.

Rep. Brad Dee, R-Ogden, is sponsoring a bill to ease wood burning restrictions. It amounts to a rebuke of Gov. Gary Herbert’s proposal to ban wood-burning all winter in northern Utah’s pollution hotspots.

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.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Doctors offered a public tutorial Thursday on the dangers pollution poses to pregnant women, and they gave suggestions on protecting mothers and their babies.

Judy Fahys / KUER News

Thousands of Utahns gathered at the State Capitol Saturday to remind lawmakers they want more action on clean air.

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.

Brian Gimmett

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has awarded $700,000 in grants and low-interest loans to expand electric and natural gas vehicle use across the state.

badairday.org / 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.

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.

Courtesy wasatchweatherweenies.blogspot.com

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.

Rocky Mountain Stove & Fireplace

  In his State of the State address to the legislature last January, Governor Gary Herbert suggested a season-long ban on wood burning as a way to improve Utah’s winter air quality.  The state Air Quality Board will decide soon whether to make that the law. 

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