Should you still go out for that run on days when Utah’s air quality is questionable? A new website may be able to answer that question, based on your own health and exercise needs.
The developers of the MyAir website made a presentation to the Utah Air Quality Board this week, explaining their system for evaluating the individual risk of exposure to air pollution. It’s based on the user’s health and fitness level as well as on the air quality on any given day.
A group representing off-road vehicle users doesn’t think a court decision against a BLM Resource Management Plan means all the others are in trouble.
The Bureau of Land Management issued six Resource Management Plans for its offices in southern and eastern Utah in the closing weeks of the Bush administration. This week, a federal judge ruled the off road vehicle routes in the Richfield plan are invalid and ordered BLM to take another look.
Before the Bill Barrett Corporation decided to sell its natural gas operations in the West Tavaputs Plateau of eastern Utah, it had worked out agreements with environmentalists for special protection in some areas. Those groups say the new owner, the EnerVest Corporation of Houston, needs to keep those promises.
Last week, the Utah Divison of Wildlife released its annual agenda of proposed changes for 2014’s big game hunting season. The changes cover a wide range of hunting issues and also address a possible addition to the organization’s mule deer management plan.
Governor Gary Herbert has appointed a team of 37 water district managers, environmentalists, legislators and others to create a long-term strategy for water use and conservation in Utah. The announcement came during a water summit meeting held today at Utah Valley University.
Last week, the Bill Barrett Corporation sold its natural gas properties in the West Tavaputs Plateau of eastern Utah for more than 300-million dollars.
The deal was announced last week, but the buyer wasn’t disclosed. Filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, though, identify the buyer as the EnerVest Corporation, based in Houston. The transaction is valued at 371-million dollars. EnerVest has drilling operations in Colorado and New Mexico as well as several other states in the South and Midwest.
Starting next week, the Utah Division of Air Quality will begin enforcing new rules on wood burning during winter inversions. It's also changing its website, replacing the old red and yellow air quality alerts with a six-step system that's in use nationwide. Bryce Bird, the director of Utah's Division of Air Quality, sat down with KUER's Dan Bammes to talk about the changes.
Governor Gary Herbert has created a committee with dozens of high-profile people from around the state to look at solutions to Utah’s air quality problems, while critics were blasting a state plan meant to meet stricter federal pollution standards.
Governor Gary Herbert says everything’s on the table as his new Clean Air Action Team begins its work. It’s led by Dan Lofgren of Envision Utah and includes 39 members, ranging from the chairman of Intermountain Health Care to Dan McArthur, the mayor of St. George.
Even with a decent start to the new water year last week, Todd Adams from the Utah Division of Water Resources says it’s time for Northern Utah residents to conserve by shutting down their automatic sprinkler systems now. But, he says, last month’s moisture was very helpful.
“It’s kind of strange because we ended up about somewhere between 70 and 90 percent of normal statewide based on our precipitation. A lot of that came in the last part of September which has helped us going into next year,” says Adams.
As activists and community members step up the pressure to shut down a North Salt Lake medical waste incinerator, Stericycle officials are denying the company violated emissions limits or rigged stack test results. They are challenging a list of citations filed by Utah regulators against the company's incinerator. That means the beginning of a legal process that could take months.
As the clock ticks down on a possible shutdown of the federal government, Utah’s tourist industry is already hearing from worried visitors.
Visitors to Utah’s five national parks could encounter locked gates if the government shuts down because Congress can’t agree on a funding bill. Marian DeLay, the head of the Moab Travel Council, says foreign tourists in particular are telling Moab businesses they don’t want to get to Utah and find the parks closed.
Environmental activist Erin Brockovich was in North Salt Lake City over the weekend to join the fight against Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator. Brockovich is lending her celebrity status and investigatory resources to community members who want the incinerator out of their neighborhood. Brockovich says she came to North Salt Lake because concerned mothers asked her to.
Pat Mulroy, the long-time head of the Southern Nevada Water Authority, announced her plans to retire this week. She’s been a strong proponent of the plan to pump groundwater from the Great Basin to Las Vegas. But she also suggested in an interview with the Las Vegas Sun that the project wouldn’t be necessary if Nevada could work out a deal with states such as Utah that hold water rights on the Colorado River.
A hearing is underway this afternoon in federal court on a challenge to Kennecott’s plan to expand the Bingham Canyon copper mine. Representatives from Utah Moms for Clean Air, Wild Earth Guardians, the Sierra Club and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment all say Kennecott can’t move ahead with its expansion without approval from the Environmental Protection Agency. Doctor Brian Moench says that’s needed even though the Utah Division of Air Quality has already signed off on it.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new rules that would require new coal-fired power plants to capture carbon dioxide rather than sending it into the air. University of Utah Professor Brian McPherson, who’s worked on ways to “sequester” carbon dioxide, says that could raise the cost of new coal plants to the point they’re no longer practical. And he says the new rules give natural gas fired power plants an unfair advantage.
Steve Erickson is with a group promoting another alternative, the so-called “Shared Solution.” It would scrap the freeway and instead improve east-west routes across the county leading to FrontRunner and I-15.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has published a draft environmental assessment on its proposal to designate critical habitat for the Gunnison Sage Grouse in Utah and Colorado. The Gunnison grouse is a smaller and rarer cousin of the greater sage grouse that lives in most of the states of the Mountain West.
Bob Inglis is a former Republican member of Congress from South Carolina, a conservative who was defeated by a candidate riding the Tea Party wave in 2010. He's gone on to lead the Energy and Enterprise Initiative at George Mason University in Virginia. It's proposing a solution to the world's climate change problem based on conservative political values, and he'll be explaining that at the Hinckley Institute of Politics at the University of Utah.
UCAIR – the program that encourages Utahns to voluntarily reduce air pollution – has a new boss. It’s Ted Wilson, the former mayor of Salt Lake City.
Until recently, Ted Wilson was working for the Talisker Corporation, the owners of The Canyons ski area. He was picked by the Utah Clean Air Partnership Board to replace Shawni McAllister, who left for personal reasons.
As angry residents continue to protest Stericycle’s medical waste incinerator and its toxic emissions, some local officials have been discussing the possibility of moving the plant to another location.
North Salt Lake Mayor Len Arave met with Stericycle’s Vice President of Legislative and Regulatory Affairs earlier this week. He says he thinks the incinerator should find another home outside the city, and that Stericycle may be open to that possibility.
Utah’s State Air Quality Board has given its preliminary approval to a new plan for meeting federal air quality regulations on the Wasatch Front.
"Most of the residents of the valley are going to be breathing clean air sooner than 2019, so that’s a good thing," Bill Reiss, a planner with the Utah Division of Air Quality, explained to the Board of Air Quality.
Environmentalists are reminding the Bureau of Land Management that public opposition to expanding a coal strip mine in Kane County hasn’t gone away.
The Sierra Club and other groups went to the BLM office in Salt Lake City to deliver more than 45-thousand public comments opposing the expansion of the coal mine. The mine currently operates on private land near the town of Alton. The agency is about to issue a supplemental environmental impact statement on the plan that could allow it to expand onto public land in the same area.