SALT LAKE CITY — A legislative committee endorsed creation of a bipartisan air quality task force to review what's being done and what new strategies can be adopted to clean up Utah's air.
Sponsored by Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Salt Lake, HB70 received overwhelming support Wednesday in a meeting of the House Public Utilities and Technology Committee from both people in the audience and sitting committee members.
Rep. Fred Cox, R-West Valley, said the task force represents a good effort to enhance efforts already being tackled in the air quality arena and a good step toward finding solutions to the problem.
"I think we all want clean air, water and land," he said. "I support finding solutions … I've lived in this valley my whole life, with very few exceptions, and I have seen the air when it is bad and seen it when it isn't. You don't need a whole lot of scientific information to see that we have problems."
The committee heard testimony from Dr. Brian Moench, of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, who said medical science has advanced to where the deadly health effects of poor quality air are widely known and documented. He pointed to heart attacks, strokes, sudden deaths, poor birth outcomes and diabetes as a few of the health conditions wrought by dirty air.
"Not only it is a medical issue, but it is a moral issue," he said. "And we have a moral issue to clean up our air."
Cherise Udell with Utah Moms For Clean Air testified with her two daughters in tow and reminded lawmakers the youngsters represented the responsibility they have to take action where they can.
"It is really appropriate for them to be here so you can see the faces that will be affected by the decisions you make," she said. "I call upon you as a mother."
Under Arent's measure, a 13-member bipartisan committee was formed of five Utah senators and eight members of the House of Representatives. The task force is modeled after one already set up to review and make recommendations on water issues facing Utah.
The bill, which moves to the full House, received only one no vote from committee Chair Sen. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, who said he had concerns about what task force would intend to accomplish.
- XanGo co-founder accuses partners of...
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet, passes away
- Utah State runner Brittany Fisher gaining...
- Airport TRAX ridership remains strong weeks...
- Search for Susan Cox Powell is over, West...
- Early diagnosis may be key in slowing...
- Mia Love announces she's officially running...
- Mitt Romney to live in Utah — at least...
- Frances Monson, wife of LDS prophet,... 66
- Mia Love announces she's officially... 37
- GOP delegates reject changes to... 31
- Utah GOP convention agenda includes... 21
- XanGo co-founder accuses partners of... 19
- Swallow headlines spark question:... 12
- Utah facing $1.2 billion-dollar water... 10
- New app helps consumers purchase... 9