A small particle is causing a big stink in Northern Utah, and the Environmental Protection Agency wants Utah to reduce it.
The Environmental Protection Agency announced today that six northern Utah counties have at least some areas where either the air is polluted, or the pollution from those areas is contributing to the wintertime pollution elsewhere.
The pollutant is called pM 2.5, a microscopic particle that comes from automobiles, wood-burning stoves, and power plants, among other things. It is especially bad in the winter, and is a primary cause of our lovely inversions.
As if the inversion didn't already make it clear, the polluted air is not healthy. It is associated with, according to the EPA, everything from asthma to heart attacks.
Naturally, Utah's politicians are angry. After all, the new regulations could cause some serious hardships for people in places like Box Elder and Tooele counties. For instance, drivers may have to get an emission test for their car, which could cost them almost $30 a year (the horror!). Or school buses may have to be retrofitted to reduce their emissions (think of the children!).
Thankfully, Sen. Bob Bennett is on the case. In a press release, Bennett continues to chide the EPA for ruling without having visited the areas. Because, after all, if they only came during, say, February, they would be able to see (and taste and smell) the clean air.
By the way, this fight against the EPA by Bennett was previously one of my "Misses."
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