The Utah Air Quality Board looks at creating stricter regulations, Governor Gary Herbert says Utah is “ready and willing” to host another Olympic games, and teen unemployment rates continue to remain high.
The Utah Air Quality Board will meet tomorrow to look at a new set of state regulations aimed at cleaning up winter air pollution. The new rules would impose stricter standards in Cache County as well as the Wasatch Front. The new plan has to meet standards set by the U-S Environmental Protection Agency, with federal highway funding at risk if it fails.
Utah business leaders are making a case for why clean air is integral to a strong economy. At the Salt Lake Chamber’s 2nd Annual Clean Air Conference this morningpanelists from the Utah division of Air Quality, Wasatch Front Regional Council and Overstock.com discussed how environmental responsibility can benefit bottom lines and improve quality of life for everyone.
Bryce Bird, director of the state's Division of Air Quality and Amanda Smith, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality explain the new air quality alert system on November 26, 2012.
Utah’s new air pollution alert system has some health advocacy groups concerned. Under the new system announced Monday by the Utah Division of Air Quality, there will be fewer days that will trigger a Red Air Action alert. Red Air days are considered to be unhealthy for everyone. In the current system, they are triggered when PM2.5 levels are at 35 micrograms per cubic meter. The new system raises the threshold to 55.
Concern about the environment moved up a notch this year in the Utah Foundation’s survey of issues important to voters. And while there are many aspects of that issue to look at, voters insist air pollution is at the top of their environmental agenda
Governor Gary Herbert will meet with Cache County officials Wednesday in Logan to talk about air quality. County officials requested the meeting with the Governor to express their concerns about state plans to expand vehicle emissions testing.
Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon says the majority of the people in his region do not want emissions testing on vehicles. That’s why the County Council voted against it. Lemon says the state should not impose this policy against the will of the county.
Smoke from distant wildfires has pushed air pollution levels well above federal health standards in Utah this week. Fine particulate pollution (PM 2.5) topped 50 micrograms per cubic meter of air on Tuesday afternoon. Schools aren't required to keep kids indoors during recess until that level reaches 90. But Doctor Michell Hofmann, a pediatrician at the University of Utah School of Medicine says school administrators and coaches need to think about how many days kids have been breathing bad air as well as just how bad it might be on a given day.