Most strategies to reduce air pollution in northern Utah focus on emissions from cars and industry, but the state’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) is targeting another source of pollution – the products in our bathroom cupboards, cleaning closets, and garage shelves. The DAQ board will consider a new rule Wednesday that would regulate consumer products containing volatile organic compounds.
Clean air advocates filed a legal challenge last week against the US Environmental Protection Agency, claiming a new policy allows some coal-fired power plants to continue releasing haze-causing pollutants in Utah, New Mexico and Wyoming. Environmental organization HEAL Utah was one of the groups who filed the challenge with the US Court of Appeals for the 10th Circuit in Denver.
A spokeswoman for Utah Governor Gary Herbert says the governor disagrees with dozens of Utah Doctors who say the region’s current air pollution levels are causing a public healthcare emergency. A group of physicians hand-delivered a letter to the Governor’s office Wednesday afternoon, asking him to take prompt action to address poor air quality along the Wasatch Front and in Cache Valley.
Two events that attract tens of thousands of visitors to Utah are taking place this week: The Sundance Film Festival and the winter Outdoor Retailers show. Some activist groups are wondering if there's an effort to avoid drawing attention to the state's lousy air quality while they're in town.
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.
Rocky Mountain Power is opening another lottery for their customers who want to receive incentives to help offset the costs of installing solar energy equipment on their homes or businesses. The program opens Tuesday the 15th and runs through the 28th of January. Rocky Mountain Power spokesperson Jeff Hymas says the $50 million dollars up for grabs through 2017 will benefit all power users.
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.
The federal Bureau of Reclamation’s recent release of the Record of Decision (ROD) for the Narrows Dam on Gooseberry Creek in Sanpete County is likely to be contested in court. The relatively small water project would allow the Sanpete Water Conservancy District to develop an existing Gooseberry Project right to 5400 acre-feet of water for farmers’ late summer crop.
Salt Lake City nuclear waste company EnergySolutions announced Monday that it will be acquired by private equity firm Energy Capital Partners. But numerous parties are questioning the deal, including HEAL Utah. The environmental organization's Policy Director Matt Pacenza told KUER that he is wary about a private equity firm managing nuclear waste.
Monday is the deadline for people who own a few mining claims on public land to make sure the government knows they want to keep them. The paperwork is minimal and the $140 fee for maintaining a claim can even be waived.
Under a federal law that dates back to 1872, the rules for mining claims aren't that different for the lone prospector and the huge companies that extract millions of dollars' worth of minerals from public land. That bothers Tim Wagner with the Sierra Club, who says big corporations pay almost nothing for the minerals they extract.
The Southern Utah Wilderness Alliance filed new court papers last week to move its case ahead challenging six Resource Management Plans for Utah adopted by the Bureau of Land Management at the end of the Bush administration. The new filings focus on the RMP for the Richfield field office, an area that SUWA lawyer Steve Bloch says includes some of Utah's most spectacular country.
"Places like the Dirty Devil, Factory Butte, the Henry Mountains, Muddy Creek on the southern end of the
After major opposition from Utah’s top elected officials a group of utility companies has once and for all scrapped their plans to build an above ground nuclear waste storage facility in Tooele County. The companies wanted to construct radioactive waste containers on a 100-acre area on the Skull Valley Goshute Reservation. The site also sits very close to the Utah Test and Training Range where the military frequently drops and tests explosives.
About 30 members of the United Mine Workers Union of America from the Deer Creek coal mine located near Huntington, Utah gathered outside of the Gallivan center Friday to tell people they’re concerned about their safety. Right now they are in the middle of contract negotiations with their employer, Energy West Mining, who they say is planning to cut safety provisions. The proposal includes eliminating 11 of the unions 14 safety representatives. Union spokesman Brad Timothy says that won’t keep them safe.
The U-S Fish and Wildlife Service has worked out a framework for state agencies and private landowners to cooperate on protecting the black-footed ferret. It allows landowners to continue grazing or other uses on their land if they're willing to set aside some habitat for the ferrets.
Brian Maxfield, a biologist with the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources, says it gives the ferret's neighbors a clear understanding of what they can expect in areas where the ferrets have been re-introduced.
A coalition of ranchers, environmentalists and political leaders sent a letter to Governor Gary Herbert, asking him not to sign a deal worked out with the state of Nevada to divide water rights in the Snake Valley. Steve Erickson represents the Great Basin Water Network. He says the deal worked out three years ago should be scrapped and the states should negotiate a new one.
"We have plenty of time to do further science and assess the potential damages from this project before we sign on the bottom line," Erickson told reporters at the Utah state capitol.
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.
U.S. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is expected to make an appearance just south of Utah’s border at Glen Canyon Dam Monday. Salazar will be there to trigger a controlled flood from Utah’s Lake Powell into Arizona’s Glen and Grand Canyons, the first high-flow release conducted at that dam since 2008.
Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon endorsed the Regional Park and Trails bond today during an open house at the Northwest Recreation center. If approved, The Regional Park and Trails bond, or Proposition #1, authorizes the county to issue a $47 million dollar bond. The money would be used to help finish the Jordan River Parkway Trail, Parley’s Trail, and build three new regional parks. Salt Lake County Mayor Peter Corroon says the benefits of approving the proposition far outweigh the property tax increase.
Among the many points of contention during the presidential debates was the status of energy production across the United States. President Obama argues that more oil and natural gas are being produced today than when he took office. Governor Romney argues that less of it is being produced on public land.
Salt Lake City residents will now find it easier to recycle their glass waste thanks to a new curbside glass recycling program that begins next month.
The program will at first only serve residents who live between State Street and 2100 east. Bins will be delivered in the next couple of weeks before the first scheduled collection on November 1. Next spring, it will expand to anyone who lives in Salt Lake City.
Rocky Mountain Power generates most of the electricity to serve its customers in Utah, Wyoming and Idaho by burning coal. But it's planning to shut down the Carbon power plant, a coal-fired generating station just outside Helper, in part because of the cost of complying with new environmental regulations.