Clean-Air Groups Cry Foul at Utah's Pollution Plan | The Daily Feed

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Clean-Air Groups Cry Foul at Utah's Pollution Plan

Posted By on October 16, 2013, 10:21 AM

  • Pin It

As the winter chill creeps into the air, not far behind -- if last January was anything to judge by -- is the fearful prospect of smog so thick you can taste it. But what is Utah doing about avoiding another season of inversions?---

The answer, according to clean-air activists, appears to be pandering to big industry with a new plan that allows increases in industrial pollutants, while citizens and small businesses have to make cuts in their contributions of particulate matter to the chunky air.

HEAL Utah's Christopher Thomas fears that the state's plan to fight wintertime smog is unlikely to bring the Beehive State into federal compliance with healthy air standards by 2019, a deadline imposed by the Clean Air Act.

While Utah is seeking cuts of 46.4 percent in vehicle emissions and 17.6 percent from homes and businesses over the period from 2010 to 2019, it's permitting a 12 percent increase from heavy industry through the same period. Kennecott Mine Concentrator tops the list with the largest increase allowed over the 10 years: 1,458 tons of pollution [a combined total of PM2.5, NOx, VOCs, NH3 and SO2 emissions], taking it to just under 5,000 tons annually by 2019.

The state wants public comment before Oct. 31 on its new plan, which involves 20 new rules requiring residents and small businesses to cut back on emissions, including hairspray and varnish applications.

Because the state plan to achieve compliance leaves little margin for error, clean-air activists are seeking a second opinion to assess how cuts to the state's largest polluters could be implemented to speed up the process. They want the Department of Air Quality to extend public comment by 30 days so they can prepare a response to the plan.

"Given [the plan's] complexity, if DAQ does not extend the comment period, it will make it virtually impossible for the public to have a meaningful voice in this process," said Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment.

The clean-air groups have set up a petition for those who want to weigh in on the plan at a new website, or you can e-mail Mark Berger with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality at with your comments.

More on News

  • Trunk Flunk

    Holladay residents 'appalled' over removal of historic trees.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • This Blows

    Gov. Herbert announces he plans to sign controversial .05 DUI bill.
    • Mar 23, 2017
  • Ready for Greatness

    Utah welcomes 127 newly naturalized U.S. citizens.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • More News »

More by Stephen Dark

  • Trunk Flunk

    Holladay residents 'appalled' over removal of historic trees.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • Life Elevated

    While a repackaged hate-crimes bill stalled in the legislative session, a Blue Lives Matter bill sailed through.
    • Mar 22, 2017
  • Secret Agent

    In the aftermath of the Swallow acquittal, questions dog a state investigator.
    • Mar 15, 2017
  • More »

Latest in The Daily Feed

  • Monday Meal: Fluffy Scrambled Eggs

    How to make sensational scrambled eggs.
    • Mar 27, 2017
  • Ella Mendoza

    Chatting with one of the guests for the Grid Zine Fest on April 8.
    • Mar 26, 2017
  • Trunk Flunk

    Holladay residents 'appalled' over removal of historic trees.
    • Mar 24, 2017
  • More »


Subscribe to this thread:

Add a comment


© 2017 Salt Lake City Weekly

Website powered by Foundation