In three easy steps, our legislators could make a significant improvement in our air quality.
Step one: Hurry up with the Tier III fuel standards and low-sulfur fuel. Tier III standards are not coming until 2017. We could have them sooner. With an 80 percent reduction in noxious chemicals and a 70 percent reduction in direct particulate emissions costing only one cent more per gallon, why not?
Step two: Restrict wood burning. The University of Utah did a study that discovered that heating one home with wood is equal to heating 90,000 homes with gas in terms of emissions. Wood particulates hurt our hearts, brains and lungs whereas gas does not.
Step three: Give the Division of Air Quality the power it needs to improve our air by changing the law that restricts them. Right now, the DAQ cannot make air quality regulations stronger than EPA standards. We need laws that reflect Utah’s geographic area and climate and go beyond EPA standards. For those who want Utah, not the federal government, to set standards, this is your chance.
It is hard to argue with the impact that these three steps would make. Let’s just do it.
Salt Lake City