Ralph Becker: Utah Not Doing Enough for Air Quality Problem

Credit http://www.cleanair.utah.gov/winter/inversions.htm

Salt Lake City Mayor Ralph Becker wants the state to do more to address air quality. Currently, the Wasatch Front has some of the worst air in the country, but Becker says state law is preventing more from being done.

“The state has passed a law that basically says that the state air quality standards can not be any more strict than the federal standards," Becker said. "If we are going to address air quality than we probably need to some things that go beyond what may not be needed in the plains where the wind in blowing all the time and they don’t get big inversions.”

But Senate Majority Leader Ralph Okerlund, who also sits on the Agriculture and Environmental Air Quality sub committee says increasing state air quality standards isn’t likely because federal guidelines continue to get more strict.

“We want to make our state as environmentally friendly as we can. We want to make sure that our air is as clean as possible," Okerlund said. "But the fact of the matter is, we are getting cleaner, our technologies are getting greater, more, more people are going to nature gas vehicles. So, we have to make sure not  to be too reactive.”

Federal Air Guidelines are reviewed every five years.