Air Quality

Credit unews.utah.edu

This is a conglomeration of the coverage Utah Public Radio is doing on the air quality problem in Utah. This grouping includes Access Utah's coverage of the issue, as well as pertinent news.

Governor Herbert in front of Utah, US flags
Governor's Office

Just after receiving recommendations on reforms to Utah’s criminal justice system on Tuesday, Governor Gary Herbert addressed the looming problem of poor air quality, water consumption and federal protection of the sage grouse in his monthly media conference.

Herbert said Utah’s air quality problem has effects that extend beyond negative consequences for health.

“It’s not just a health issue; it is also an economic development issue, and if we don’t get a handle on our air quality, we will in fact slow economic expansion,” he said.

President Obama says the U.S. will sharply cut its emissions of greenhouse gases, announcing a new approach to climate change alongside Chinese President Xi Jinping. The plan also includes China's agreement to cap its emissions.

The two leaders' pledges are being called dramatic and ambitious — for the U.S., because Obama's earlier plans had called for a smaller cut in emissions, and for China, because the country had previously resisted calls for it to consider capping its emissions as it grows and modernizes.

Clean Air Battle Begins In DC Courtroom

Oct 22, 2014
Uintah basin topical map
http://www.uintahbasintah.org/

Utah found itself in the middle of a struggle between states, environmental advocates, energy companies and a federal regulatory agency on Tuesday  

Oral arguments were heard in the District of Columbia’s Circuit Court of Appeals, where environmentalists and clean-air advocates challenged the Environmental Protection Agency’s ozone classification of Utah’s Uintah Basin.

The environmentalist advocates contend it is no coincidence that Uintah Basin is also home to oil and gas development and some of the worst air quality in the state, and the EPA’s designation is incorrect.

Community members gathered at a discussion on action and strategies to improve air quality in Northern Utah Wednesday. Organizers of the workshop brought air quality experts, representatives from Utah's and Idaho's departments of environmental quality, Logan City council members, along with state and county officials.

Ed Redd (R-House 4) opened the public session by explaining why he spent the past Utah legislative session working on a bill to reduce the use of wood burning stoves along the Wasatch Front.

santa, air quality, inversion
RYAN CUNNINGHAM / UTAH PUBLIC RADIO

On a day when the Utah Division of Air Quality categorized Salt Lake’s air as “Unhealthy” on their Air Quality Index, demonstrators gathered outside Trolley Square on Tuesday to raise awareness of the state’s inversion problem.

As a part of what organizers are calling the “Twelve Polluted Days of Christmas,” clean air advocates wore Santa hats and elf costumes, hoping to combine holiday cheer with an issue that has plagued Utahns early and often this season.

Decked out in holiday apparel and wearing masks to protect their lungs from pollution, about a dozen protestors gather on the sidewalk along 700 East, one of the busiest streets in Salt Lake. A man dressed as Santa Claus waves to the constant stream of traffic, holding a sign that says, “Breathing clean air is the birthright of every child.”

And who better to speak for children than Santa Claus?

air quality, mandatory action
UTAH DIVISION OF AIR QUALITY

As a familiar winter haze settles over the state, the Utah Division of Air Quality has issued mandatory action warnings for five Utah Counties. The use of wood stoves and fireplaces is prohibited in Cache, Box Elder, Salt Lake and Davis counties, as well as Utah and Weber counties until the Department of Environmental Quality lifts the limit with the improvement of air quality.

Utah Division of Air Quality Environmental Scientist Ken Simmons said the early warnings were issued to inform the public.

For Air Quality Awareness Week, Jennifer Pemberton has been asking local experts to help explain Cache Valley’s air pollution problem to residents. In today’s report, she tours a lab on the campus of Utah State University, where the effects of particulate pollution on human health are easy to see -- with the right equipment.

Creative Commons

This week is Air Quality Awareness Week. Today Jennifer Pemberton  takes us on a summarized visit to the Cache Valley Air Quality Summit in Logan to hear air pollution epidemiologist, Dr. C. Arden Pope tell the story of how we’ve cleaned up the air in the U.S. in the past 50 years and how much further we still have to go.
 

The EPA has designated this week Air Quality Awareness Week. As part of UPR’s community engagement project, Jennifer Pemberton has been talking to Cache County residents about the experience of living with some of the nation’s worst air pollution. This week, she’s taking their questions and comments to local experts. In today’s report, she enlists Dr. Randy Martin to define Red Air by the numbers.
 

April Ashland

These are some of the voices from our Bad Air Story booth at Logan’s Earth Day Downtown Street Festival. With a background of various local musicians and speakers, we set up a table and microphone to ask Cache Valley residents to tell us their Bad Air stories. Have you ever had a bad air day? How do you know when it’s a bad air day? What do you do about it? 

You spoke and UPR listened. Tuesday on Access Utah Jennifer Pemberton will be here to present some of your questions and comments on how air pollution has affected your health. If you haven’t told us your story, phone lines will be open for you. You can also share your story with us at our online form. In the second half: after a particularly bad winter, we’ll ask: what’s next in our search for solutions?  


Utah Public Radio has partnered with the Public Insight Network to report on public health effects of air pollution in Cache Valley. Listeners and other members of the community here have been telling us their experiences with air pollution through an online form. Jennifer Pemberton has been listening to these stories and has this update on public concerns:

If you haven’t filled out our form about air pollution yet, you now have the chance to come tell us about it in person at our Bad Air Story Booth.

This Saturday, April 20, from 11:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m. members of the Utah Public Radio staff will be collecting your air quality stories at Logan’s Earth Day Downtown Street Festival.

You are UPR. We are the Listeners.

Apr 2, 2013

We're standing by for your report on air quality in Cache Valley. As a partner of the Public Insight Network, Utah Public Radio is turning to you, our listeners, to report on issues that matter to you. See what we're thinking about at our Source page and chime in on any issue any time you have something to say.

www.parkcitygreen.org

Many Utahns are getting frustrated with what they see as slow and ineffective progress toward solving our air pollution problem.

A Clean Air Rally is planned for Tuesday afternoon in Logan ahead of an expected decision on emissions testing from the Cache County Council.


unews.utah.edu

On previous episodes of Access Utah, we’ve tapped into grassroots frustration directed at government for perceived lack of effective action on Air Pollution. Many of you are asking: why isn’t more being done?  Wednesday on the program we’ll give you the chance to express your concerns directly to legislators and government officials. We’ll ask our guests and you: what should government do to improve Air Quality?

In the first half, we’ll talk with Sen. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake City; Rep. Ed Redd, R-Logan; and Bryce Bird, Director of the Utah Division of Air Quality.

breatheutah.org

Air quality is today's topic on the program. We'll be taking a grassroots angle on the anger and protest regarding this issue. Utah has been known for having the worst air in the nation, and many Utahns are taking matters into their own hands. 

Wasatch front inversions
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.

Wasatch front inversions
http://www.cleanair.utah.gov/winter/inversions.htm

Our air quality problem is visible above the inversion line and is physically noticeable when passing below. Utah’s air at times has been rated the worst in the nation. Our questions are: What can be done? What should be done? What can regular citizens do? What should the government do? During the first half of the show, Bo Call, manager of the Air Monitoring Center for Utah Division of Air Quality and Gerry Carpenter, a representative for Utah Transit Authority will join us.

New Air Quality Rules Just in Time for Inversion Season

Nov 26, 2012

The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is implementing new rules for all solid fuel and coal burning devices as a way to predict red and yellow air-quality conditions sooner during the winter inversion season.  Air Quality Division Director Bryce Bird says the state will now rate its air quality based on the national air quality index.

Thursday, January 5