In October, Western Resource Advocates, along with partners HEAL Utah and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, proposed new rules to reduce industrial air pollution in Utah. These rules would ensure that we better protect our families’ health by having industry reduce pollution to clean Utah’s air. The need is imperative: Utah’s Wasatch Front has some of the most polluted air in the country, and it’s harming our health and our quality of life.
On Wednesday, March 2nd at 1:30 pm, the Utah Air Quality Board is holding a hearing on three of our proposed rules. At the hearing, the Board will vote on whether to move forward with these rules and invite public comment. It’s great that the Board is holding this hearing! Now, we must convince the board to vote to move forward with these proposed rules.
Here is what our common-sense proposed rules would do:
- Prevent Bad Air Days: Impose 24-hour emissions limit on our biggest polluters to prevent short-term spikes in emissions.
- Require Daily Monitoring by Big Polluters: Mandate continuous emission monitoring and annual stack testing where feasible, so that state officials and the public have greater confidence that industry is not polluting more than it is allowed.
- Ensure All Substantial New Industry Pollution Increases Get Offset: Lower the threshold at which emission increases must be offset by emission decreases to ensure that overall pollution doesn’t add up to create major air pollution.
Air pollution can be prevented using existing technology, and the Division of Air Quality should require industry to do so. By investing in these proactive strategies now, businesses can continue to thrive and can help avoid the federal government imposing more drastic measures without the state having any say.
We proposed these effective, reasonable and common-sense rules because we want to help the state solve this problem in a way that protects our health and quality of life while allowing Utah’s businesses and economy to thrive.
We all need to do our part to reduce pollution, and Utah’s industrial sector should be no exception.