I am really curious as to how the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) recently arrived at the figure that industry only accounts for 11 percent of our air pollution. Gov. Gary Herbert certainly likes this number, as he has been sharing it with everyone as proof that industry has done its part and now it is time for Utah citizens to do their part. But just take a look at these digits and tell me how all industry can account for only 11 percent when one company, Kennecott, is responsible for the majority of pollution in Salt Lake County.
According to DAQ's data from 2008, 66.9 percent of the emissions from the monitored pollutants in Salt Lake County come from Kennecott Utah Copper. I am not sure, however, if this is inclusive of all pollution sources or just point source emissions. Could it be that the 11 percent figure is for the entire state? Otherwise the numbers just don't add up.
To be fair, these are 2008 numbers, and Kennecott could have been an exemplary corporate citizen and cut back on a big chunk of its pollutants despite increasing production for its planned expansion. But I doubt it.
Cherise Udell, Founder of Utah Moms for Clean Air
Salt Lake City
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