environment

Michael Shea

Students at Pacific Heritage Academy spent the morning planting foliage next to their building’s storm drain. The work is part of the Lower Jordan River Restoration Project.

As part of a greater study of Utah’s water system, students at Pacific Heritage Academy planted nine different types of trees and shrubs in front of their school. The “habitat patch” as it’s called will help absorb storm runoff from the school’s parking lot and provide nesting grounds for birds. Hilary Ward is a Teacher at the academy. She says the work is much more than just storm water management.

Flickr: Lyza

The Utah Department of Agriculture and Food is launching a new program that rewards farmers and ranchers who are working to protect the environment.

Utah House lawmakers are considering a bill that would allow state-specific solutions to air pollution.

Republican Rep. Becky Edwards, R- North Salt Lake, has a bill to loosen a law that prevents state environmental rules from being stricter than federal ones. She says Utah knows how to clean up its air better than the federal government does.

“HB121 allows for local control to address our local needs,” says Edwards. “This is another example of how states are more effective and do things better than the federal one-size-fits all solutions.”

Bob Nelson

The Sorenson Molecular Biotechnology Building on the University of Utah campus has just received the Gold certification for Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design, or LEED. That certification mandates the entire building project including the finished product be environmentally responsible, designed to be energy efficient, improve air and water quality while reducing waste. Ted McAleer is the executive director of U-Star, the Utah Science, Technology and Research Initiative.

Andrea Smardon

There was a packed house for Utah Congressman Chris Stewart’s Town Hall in Salt Lake City last night. In fact, there were many who didn’t get into the small library conference room in the Avenues neighborhood. Constituents had questions about the Congressman’s stance on environmental protection, immigration reform, and military action in Syria, but a number of people left feeling they did not have their voices heard.

Emerging Earth Community

  The University of Utah College of Law is hosting the annual Stegner Symposium this week, focusing on Religion, Faith and the Environment. Increasingly, people of faith are citing their beliefs as a major motivation for protecting the environment and caring for those at the margins of society.

Kennecott Utah Copper

Ground movement at the Bingham Canyon Mine resulted in a landslide last night. The slide occurred around 9:30 p.m. on the North side of the mine near where the visitor’s center was previously located. Kennecott Utah Copper spokesman Kyle Bennett says all employees at the mine are safe and accounted for. All work at the mine has also been suspended until geotechnical experts get a better assessment of the situation.

UTA debuts its new TRAX line to the airport, Chevron begins cleanup in Willard Bay, and a U of U researcher is getting an up close and never before seen view snowflakes.

Salt Lake City launches a new bike sharing program, outdoor businesses call on the president to protect land around Utah’s national parks, and a wind storm brings gusts up to 50 miles an hour to the Wasatch front.

The U.S. Interior Department announces a plan to develop Utah tar sands, a sweetheart deal could end up saving Salt Lake County millions of dollars, and the University of Utah begins an investigation into their swim team.

Brian Grimmett

 A group of Democratic legislators are introducing six new bills in an effort to help tackle Utah’s poor air quality.

The content of the proposed bills ranges from offering free passes for UTA Buses and TRAX trains to allowing the state to put in place stricter restrictions than the Environmental Protection Agency already requires. Representative Joel Briscoe is sponsoring the bill that would fund giving away free UTA passes. He says even with a tight budget this is something that should be attainable.

Bob Nelson

Lawmakers, the state forester, local law enforcement and the Utah Farm Bureau Federation are trying to build support for two bills that deal with an intense wildfire season expected again this Summer. Both are sponsored by Republican Senator Margaret Dayton.  Senate Bill 62 would expand the governor’s ability to authorize all water sources needed to fight fires while SB 120 would put time and place restrictions on target shooting. State Forester Dick Buehler says just a small fraction of the 1528 wildfires last year were started by target shooters.

Utahns crowd into Governor Herbert’s Capitol office demanding clean air, the LDS church weighs in on boy Scouts and gays, and local political and environmental leaders give their take on President Obama’s new Secretary of the Interior appointment.

Brian Grimmett

The Senate Revenue and Taxation committee chose not to move on a bill that would have allowed the state to tax water usage.

The Utah State Legislature begins today with many new faces, clean air advocates files a lawsuit against the EPA, and Congressmen Jim Matheson introduces legislation to limit kids’ access to violent video games.

The Utah Sheriff’s Association says they will not enforce federal gun laws they see as unconstitutional, air quality warnings are absent from UDOT signs, and people across the Salt Lake Valley spend their day serving others to honor Martin Luther King.

Utah Department of Natural Resources / Utah Division of Wildlife Resources

The Great Salt Lake occasionally smells strange during the summer and then there’s the “lake effect” in the winter. But within the waters of North America's most salty lake lies a unique variety of brine shrimp species that has spawned a rare public/private partnership between the Utah Department of Natural Resources and more than a dozen businesses.

Brian Grimmett

Members of Utah’s congressional delegation called for more energy development during a panel at the Governor’s Energy Development Summit. But the discussion wasn’t without some push back from local environmental advocacy groups.

Governor Gary Herbert is sworn into office for his first full term, new Salt Lake County Mayor Ben McAdams holds an inauguration ceremony of his own, and environmental groups show concern over the acquisition of EnergySolutions.

The Salt Lake Tribune names its Utahns of the Year, Several Utah cities designate city parks as Christmas Tree drop off zones, and the Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance moves forward with a lawsuit against the Bureau of Land Management.

Salt Lake County delays their vote on a proposed tax increase, a Utah family sues the Millard County sheriff over the shooting death of their son, and the Utah Air Quality Board scraps their plan to meet federal standards.

The Utah Transit Authority makes some major schedule changes, the Utah Division of Water Quality finalizes its work on the Red Butte Creek oil spill, and a new study shows how Utah could benefit from the Missouri river.

Salt Lake City Public Safety Building Nears Completion

Dec 10, 2012

Salt Lake City’s new public safety building is expected to produce as much energy as it uses and bring the city’s Police, Fire, and Emergency Operations Departments closer together.  Media donned hard hats and bright orange vests last week to tour the the building, which  is slated for completion this June.

KUER News Pod: Tuesday December 4, 2012

Dec 4, 2012

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.

Utah Facing Tough New Air Quality Regulations

Dec 4, 2012
Dan Bammes

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.

KUER News Pod: Tuesday November 27, 2012

Nov 27, 2012

The University of Utah announces changes to their admission policy, the Utah Division of Air Quality cracks down on wood burning stoves, and the state officially certifies all election results.

KUER News Pod: Tuesday November 20, 2012

Nov 20, 2012

Governor Herbert sends a letter to the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the “Tar Sands Monster” pays a visit to downtown Salt Lake City, and the Utah State Board of Regents OK’s a policy change that could increase college tuition for those who drag their feet.

Protesters Challenge Tar Sands Decision

Nov 19, 2012
Tar Sands Monster
Dan Bammes

About two dozen demonstrators gathered outside the Bureau of Land Management Office at the Gateway to offer their own "People's Environmental Impact Statement" on tar sands.  They object to a decision by the federal government to make more than 130,000 acres available for tar sands development in Utah.  Right now, the only active tar sands project in Utah is the proposed U.S.

KUER News Pod: Monday November 19, 2012

Nov 19, 2012

The U.S. Interior Department triggers a high-flow release at Glen Canyon Dam, Dixie State College continues its search for a new name, and the Utah Shakespeare Festival receives its largest cash donation ever.

KUER News Pod: Thursday November 15, 2012

Nov 15, 2012

The state Legislature discusses a proposal to fix the state’s data security issues, the governor’s public lands policy coordinator says a lot more study needs to be done before taking over federal lands, and Salt Lake City conducts a community food assessment.

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