Comments about ‘Utah's pollution problem: Small steps making positive impact for air quality’

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Published: Wednesday, March 30 2011 11:00 p.m. MDT

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Salt Lake City, UT

So, Forbes publishes one article WITHOUT publishing the raw data, and now that's the pretext to seize more of my rights, steal more of my property and money, and pretty much order me around with social faux pas? No - I refuse.

Any scientist knows that pollution is the same as trash: useful, valuable commodities people throw away.

The air pollution does contain CO2, O3, and many other USEFUL chemicals that must be HARVESTED - not used for political pretext by those incapable of seeing the wealth flow in on it's own! No, instead we get demands to turn over our ability to travel more than 10 miles in a small time frame to another government entity, and/or we loose more rights to electricity and heating fuels.

For goodness sakes, we are not here for the sake of government and those that feed from it; we're MEN! Created to expand our abilities and to create better lives for ourselves - not to serve weak people who wish to throw away the treasures of the earth for some unsubstantiated reason!

Kearns, UT

A moratorium on development it the SL valley is the only way to fix this problem. Make all new business move to south of the prison. The second most valuable method of pollution clean up is stop salting the roads and make all construction vehicles wash down their vehicle when leaving a job site. Oh, and a annual mileage tax on all commercial use vehicles.

Government does not need to spend so much time and money to get a handle on pollution and inversions in the valley, they just have to be willing to target the commercial business source and make them feel like they need to be more active in cleaning up this junk they are leaving behind.

brookings, SD

Ah, yes: Pogo: we have met the enemy and it is us.

I cannot figure out why Utah is so polluted with so many believers in this being God's country. How does one dare do this to God's country?


Because the State's lawmakers value the dirty corporations' money more than the people or the environment. By law, as i have been told, utah cannot have more stringent laws regarding pollution than the minimal guidelines that the EPA has.
What is needed is politicians in this State running on pollution issues - difficult, because the pockets of opponents will be fattened by the polluters.
People need to speak out and continue to speak out. For me - i will be moving out of this filthy place as soon as i can. My property was polluted last year - it appears nothing will be done about that or to stop it in the future.
DEQ is meerly the face for the politicians who are in turn the face of the corporations.
If you value your health and lives - move!


to davidmpark -come on over to my place and see what hydrochloric acid does to a property!

Salt Lake City, UT

A few hazy air days are necessary if we are going to continuing growing. We need growth to support our economy. We need to grow to support our families. Tokyo supports about 35 million people. We should be able to support at least that many in this valley.


just go to the EPA TRI (toxic release inventory) for Utah (you can google it - this site won't let me provide the link). This is what you are breathing and drinking! Jobs are not as important as lives and health!

Yeah but
South Jordan, UT

I have three comments:

1) If UTA is so "green," then why did they skimp and buy Tier 0 engines on the FrontRunner trains. Have you see the smoke belching from the engines when they go from Salt Lake up the hill through Davis County. For just a few thousand dollars, they could have bought much, much cleaner Tier II or II engines.

2) This city is full of chickens named Little. We have days when pollution is bad. Many, many cities do. When we have inversions here, it is not uncommon for the jet stream to be cleaning out the LA basin and the east coast, thus making us the "most polluted city." Big whoppee! There has to be a "the most," but it doesn't really mean anything. People don't seem to understand that generally, we have the cleanest air in the country. Our pollution levels on an annual basis are much lower than most comparably sized or larger cities on the planet.

3) Before the EPA existed, Utah had Air Conservation Regulations. EPA keeps lowering the standards, and Utah keeps meeting them. Working together, we can do anything, but it will take all of us.

Salt Lake City, UT

'Forbes Magazine recently labeled Utah one of the country's most toxic states a designation that could create concern about the health of residents...' - Article


More like 'has.'

* 'Northern Utah's air is the worst in the nation' - KSL - 01/11/10

'SALT LAKE CITY -- Northern Utah currently boasts the worst air in the nation, and it's not even a close margin.'

* 'Red air quality alert issued, limit driving' - DSNews - 08/25/10

*'Study says coal burning in Utah kills 202 a year' - AP - Published by DSNews - 10/19/10

'SALT LAKE CITY A study commissioned by Utah state agencies says air pollution kills 202 residents a year.'

Small steps to clean the air in Utah are nice.

But why can't we take big steps?

Are the lives of residents in Utah worth so little?

Chris T
Salt Lake City, Utah

Want to cut particle pollution by at least 6 percent? Shut down Kennecott. Now they want to increase production. Just look at that sludge mountain they are building between Magna and I-80. As the wind blows, it picks up those particles, and get this, the particles don't just land on Magna, they cover the whole Wasatch front, and beyond. Kennecott should not be allowed to increase production, it should be forced to cut production and if possible to shut down.

Riverton, UT

"Car pooling can cut emissions by 75 percent," said Carpenter, "A car with one person in it lets one pound of greenhouse gas per passenger mile, whereas a van full of people lets 1.5 pounds of green house gas per passenger mile."

That doesn't make sense. What are the correct numbers?

Bountiful, UT

The pollution around here is terrible! We had friends visit us from Southern California and they were complaining about our pollution. Their eyes were stinging and their throats were scratchy...now that's a big switch from 20 years ago.

Charlottesville, VA

That first quotation should read "natural beauty," not "national beauty."

Provo, UT

Last summer on a Timp hike I looked down into the valleys and said "do I really want to go back down and breathe *THAT*?"

We need to face the fact that as population along the Wasatch Front continues to climb, if we want to have this place remain in any way a decent area to live in, we're going to have to change our patterns of development and transportation drastically. Walkable communities, high density developments rather than suburban sprawl and strip malls, initiatives to make it more feasible for people to live closer to where they work, better public transportation, and even biting the bullet and increasing the gas tax all need to be discussed.

Unfortunately, I don't know that we have the political will to do anything. People are so opposed to getting together as a community to make long-term plans ("planning how to deal with growth? COMMUNISM! how dare you limit developers' 'rights'?")

In the early days of Utah, we were world leaders in urban planning. In today's political atmosphere, anybody who would publicly advocate such planning would almost need to worry about being lynched, even if they were Brigham Young.

LDS Tree-Hugger
Farmington, UT

cjin | 8:01 a.m. March 31, 2011
Salt Lake City, UT

A few hazy air days are necessary if we are going to continuing growing. We need growth to support our economy. We need to grow to support our families. Tokyo supports about 35 million people. We should be able to support at least that many in this valley.


And the Japanese --
use mass-transit,
R&D Electric Vehicles,
No ones drives SUVs or over-sized trucks,
Coal powered plants are being converted to Natural Gas.

I guess you've never heard of the Kyoto Protocol.

[Oh, and they are Socialist.]

But whatever is good for business, right? --
Be happy in your little pig-pen.

Provo, UT

St. George has is nice :)

West Valley, UT

Here are a few things SLC could do to improve air quality.

#1: Close all drive-thrus. Make people park and go inside if they want something. All those cars idling in line are just creating pollution.

#2: Alter government office and school hours, opening and closing later means less vehicles on the road during the 6-8AM and 4-6PM rush periods.

#3: Replace all buses with new hybrid models. This includes school buses.

#4: Install new intelligent traffic control signals all across town. These detect changes in traffic patterns and can alter light timing to reduce traffic jams.

Yes, it's an expensive thing to do. Yes, it will inconvenience some people. However these changes can have a large effect on air quality and require only minimal changes to people's everyday lives.

Salt Lake City, UT

I remember another article by the D news that quoted Kennocott's emissions as up to 25% of SL Valley's air pollution. I wonder which number is closer to the truth?

Even if it is 6% that number is still way to high for one company. I hope they really can halve their emissions by 2014, on a bad air day a 3% change could literally make a visible difference.

D Van Duker
Syracuse, UT

The largest RECOGNIZED factors to increases vehicle emissions are--in order:

1) Poor traffic management--slow moving & stop-n-go traffic SIGNIFICANTLY increases vehicle emissions. Vehicles are less efficient at slower speeds and while accellerating; just about doubling the vehicle emmision rates. Shutting down I-15 causes emmissions levels to go thru the roof.

2) Fleet exemptions--Most diesel (trucks, pickups, and passenger cars) and fleet vehicles (federal, state, and local government vehicles, as well as those operated school districts, utilities, and large companies) are granted exemption from emmission testing...even in the counties with the highest pollution problems.

3) Diesel vehicles--while the gases out of the tail-pipe are about the same, diesel engines emit a much larger amount of particulate...especially at accelleration and when the engine isn't properly tuned--they are generally exempted because of pollitics and economics--deisel engines require special test equipment.

It seems that most government "fixes" are focused on what the public can do, rather than the govenment changing they own practices.

Otis Spurlock
Ogden, UT


I agree. There is no pollution problem here in Utah. Forget what scientist tell you (what do they know anyway?). Forget what doctors tell you about all the deaths and health problems related to Utah's air (what do they know anyway?). Forget what your eyes tell you when look outside and see the winter pollution inversion or the pollution haze in the summer (what do we know anyway?).

Rest easy tonight, Utah. Just remember, man cannot affect the environment one little bit. Rest easy.

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