winter inversions | KUER 90.1

winter inversions

Judy Fahys/KUER News

An unlikely coalition came together behind air-quality legislation Tuesday, as some of Utah's petroleum industry joined environmental and health advocates in helping advance two bills.

Julia Ritchey / KUER

Tuesday was the first red air day of the winter season in the Salt Lake Valley. Members of the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce used it to promote an initiative to get companies to reward their employees for driving less.

Utah Department of Transportation

It's a great time to try out public transit. That's because the first big inversion of the season has settled in and pollution's building in northern Utah valleys.

Judy Fahys / KUER News


We roll up in a tour bus to the white bones of what used to be a zinc plant in Donora, Pa. We pass the vacant lot where the steel mill was. Both industrial plants shut down decades ago, so it’s hard now to imagine this dull place as the epicenter of a world-famous tragedy.

Whittney Evans

Salt Lake County is expanding its Vehicle Repair Assistance Program, which helps qualified residents improve their cars and the air along the Wasatch Front.

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.

Flickr Creative Commons

Northern Utah is bracing for the first pollution episode of the new year, thanks to a multi-day inversion that has started building on the Wasatch Front.

Air quality along the Wasatch front this week has reached levels above what the federal government deems safe, and doctors at Intermountain Medical Center say they are already hearing a lot of related health complaints from their patients.

Among those seeing a spike in patients is Denitza Blagev, pulmonary and critical care physician at Intermountain Medical Center. Common symptoms include chest tightness, chest burning, and shortness of breath.

Clearing the Air: What the Legislature Proposes

Feb 20, 2013
Andrea Smardon

As Utahns persist through one of the worst winter inversion seasons in a decade, many have focused their frustration and anger over dirty air on elected officials in the Utah legislature.  In part two of our series Clearing the Air, KUER News explores the  short and long term solutions lawmakers are proposing.