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Letter: Strong air quality regulations needed

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

I am a Utah native and a new mother to a baby girl, and I have been particularly struck by the excellent series of articles on Utah's air quality. It is incredibly important to me to offer my daughter the opportunity to grow up in the Salt Lake Valley near her family and with easy access to her heritage. That being said, it is equally important that she grow up free of unnecessary health burdens such as asthma and the other various respiratory illnesses that burden Utahns due to our ongoing poor air quality.

Unfortunately, it appears that these two imperatives of raising my daughter near family and growing up healthy are in direct contradiction with one another. With 65,000 children in Utah suffering from asthma, 2,000 people a year along the Wasatch Front dying prematurely and the average Utahn losing up to two years of their life to air pollution, how can the governor respond with only a voluntary program to reduce pollution levels? This is an irresponsible and careless position to take.

Protecting our health requires leadership and strong regulations, not volunteerism.

Katie Riggs Hansen

Salt Lake City

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