Air Quality

Judy Fahys / KUER News

A new study names air quality as the second-highest priority for Utah voters. More than two-thirds of voters who were polled by the non-partisan Utah Foundation say they are pretty concerned about the issue.

zhengzaishuru / istockphoto.com

Uintah County Commissioner Mike McKee says oil and gas companies would be doing a lot more to clean up pollution if they knew they could avoid sanctions from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake City and the University of Utah are partnering to offer consumer discounts on electric vehicles. Together, they’ve negotiated prices with area car dealerships in an effort to get cleaner cars on the road.

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.

istockphoto

The seventh annual Clear the Air Challenge starts Friday. It’s a contest aimed at reducing summer ozone pollution that drew over seven thousand people last year. Together, they cut pollution by 646 tons.

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.

Andrea Smardon / KUER

A proposed air quality permit for a new medical waste incinerator in Tooele County is open for public comment. The move allows an old plant to be removed from a residential neighborhood in North Salt Lake, but it also means the company could burn more waste and emit more pollutants into the air. State environmental officials are holding a meeting Monday night in Tooele to answer questions and hear concerns.

Penn State / Flicker Creative Commons

The Department of Environmental Quality wants to help Utahns to swap out noisy, exhaust-sputtering gas lawn equipment with quieter and cleaner electric models.

They're doing it through the CARROT incentive program.

Dan Bammes

Senators cleared the way Thursday for Utah refineries to get millions of dollars worth of tax credits for installing equipment to remove pollution-forming sulfur from gasoline.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Health and environment advocates have said  HB 316 , a bill updating Utah building codes, might be the biggest air-quality bill of the year, but they didn’t get an opportunity to voice their concerns about it Tuesday to the lawmakers considering the legislation. 

Courtesy: / Tesoro Corp.

Utah’s petroleum refineries aren’t legally required to make the super-clean Tier 3 fuel. But the state’s largest refinery has decided to produce that fuel anyhow in what’s seen as an important move for Wasatch Front air quality.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Federal regulators visited Salt Lake City Tuesday to hear from Utahns about how to deal with the haze that plagues national parks of the West. People from Utah’s coal country and its environmental community gave U.S. Environmental Protection Agency officials an earful of advice Tuesday.

Judy Fahys/KUER

The 2016 General Session of the Utah Legislature begins Monday, and lawmakers already have more than a dozen initiatives on their agenda aimed at improving air quality.

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.

Bryan Jones / Flickr Creative Commons

Delivering drinking water to 350,000 customers, catching stormwater, moving wastewater and keeping the streetlights on aren’t exactly action-hero tasks.  But Jeff Niermeyer prevented a local environmental disaster from becoming an international one nearly six years ago. That’s when thick crude oil poured from a Chevron pipeline, down Red Butte Creek and through the heart of the city into Liberty Park.

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.

Weber State University’s National Center for Automotive Science & Technology

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality has long said the first driving mile is the worst mile for winter automobile air pollution.

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.

John Fowler / Flickr Creative Commons

Federal regulators are weighing a decision on Utah’s plan for cleaning up haze around the national parks.

The Environmental Protection Agency is asking for public input on two haze reduction plans. One’s been proposed by the Utah Division of Air Quality.

U Launches Electric Car Discount Program

Dec 14, 2015
Image courtesy University of Utah

The University of Utah is hoping to reduce its emissions by targeting commuters. The U launched a program Monday to help community members buy electric cars at a cheaper price.

Utah State University Utah Climate Center

The Utah State University Climate Center’s inversion forecast is showing the season’s first big spike in probable valley inversions starting next week.

Courtesty: Intermountain Medical Center

New evidence is emerging from the Wasatch Front about the effects of air pollution on health, thanks to researchers at Intermountain Medical Center who studied heart attacks over more than two decades. What they found in the four Wasatch Front counties is that, when concentrations of microscopic soot pollution reach 25 parts per million concentration, the likelihood of suffering what’s called a STEMI heart attack goes up too.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Utah leaders want to clean up the air even as the state grows in population and economic output. A daylong symposium next week focuses on how to accomplish both.

Courtesy: / Kennecott Utah Copper

Environmental groups are applauding Rio Tinto’s decision to scrap its permit for a new rock crushing plant at Kennecott's copper mine.

Judy Fahys/KUER

Environmental groups have ideas for regulators about cutting the industrial emissions that contribute to Utah’s winter pollution.

The Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, HEAL Utah and Western Resource Advocates say air pollution harms quality of life in Utah too much of the time.

“Folks in Utah know this because your kinds can’t go out and play on the playground,” says Joan Clayburgh, spokeswoman for Western Resource Advocates. “Our grandparents and our parents and the elderly are told maybe not to go out during the day. This is our right to have clean air.”

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.

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