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Letter: Measures against pollution cannot be voluntary

Published: Friday, Aug. 17 2012 12:00 a.m. MDT

While Gov. Gary Herbert's attempts to reign in our growing air quality problem in this valley is voluntary — as detailed in the excellent article, "Does Utah have the political will to make tough pollution choices?" (Aug. 11) — it's important to remember that living with the affects of poor air isn't optional. The governor will allow Utah businesses to choose whether or not to reduce emissions, but the people of Utah can't select whether or not their health will be affected by poor air quality.

I can't volunteer to refrain from breathing on bad air days. My son can't elect to have asthma pass him by. My grandmother can't simply choose to not be rushed to the hospital for the respiratory failure, heart attack or stroke provoked by poor air quality.

Not only is it clear that a voluntary program is no program at all, it's as clear as a green-air day that a governor who governs by voluntary measures is as good as no governor at all.

Robert DeBirk

Salt Lake City

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