Seen as nature loversí paradise, Utah struggles with air quality

Published: Saturday, Feb. 23 2013 4:20 p.m. MST

Inversion takes hold again along the Wasatch Front Monday, Feb. 4, 2013.

Scott G Winterton, Deseret News

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Our take: Utah's air pollution problems the past few years are not unknown to natives of the Beehive State, and the rest of America is taking notice. The New York Times tackles why the pollution gets trapped in the Wasatch Front area, and what effect the inversion has on Utah's air quality. This winter in Salt Lake County, there have been 22 days where the level of pollution exceeded the federal air quality standards.

Utah has long been known as an outdoor lovers utopia. The skiing and mountain biking are among the best anywhere. And the snow-clotted mountains that tower around Salt Lake give this city a mythic quality during winter.

But lately, the Wasatch Front, the corridor of cities and towns where most Utahans live, has acquired a reputation for a less enviable attribute: bad air.

For the last few years, the area has been grappling with one of the nations most vexing pollution problems, where atmospheric inversions during the winter months lead to a thick fog of dirty air cloaking the region.

Read more about Utah's air quality on NYTimes.com.

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