Comments about ‘In our opinion: State clean air panel is not a new idea’

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Published: Monday, Oct. 28 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

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marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Appointing a clean air panel at this time is the very height of absurdity. Recommendations cannot be made until we know where the most severe air pollution is, and the nature of those pollutants. This is not possible because of the hopelessly underfunded air monitoring system. I believe this by design because many interests simply don't want the facts known. First, beef up the air monitoring system big time. Get data. Go from there.

Yeah but
South Jordan, UT

The opinion of the Editorial Board is that, "25 years later, air quality is still generally poor, and getting worse, especially during temperature inversions." Thankfully, the Board is wrong. Data from Utah's numerous air monitors show that 1) the air in the Wasatch Front is generally quite clean (we are well below the annual average standards for all pollutants); and 2) although we do have stable periods when pollution levels climb, the peak concentrations during those periods have steadily declined for decades. What the data also show is that ambient concentrations in pristine areas continue to edge upward in all areas of the West - likely due to uncontrolled pollution coming from China, since emissions have decreased in the U.S. dramatically over the same period.

As for giving this new committee "authority" for air quality issues, there is already an Air Quality Board with statutory responsibility to make laws to clean the air. I suppose this new panel will be making suggestions to that Board for changes to existing laws and policies that are needed.

So, the air is getting better. What is increasing is not pollution levels, it public awareness, and editorial opinions not based on fact don't help.

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"Data from Utah's numerous air monitors..." I am familiar with the air monitoring system. "Numerous" does not describe it. When I worked at DEQ there were about 30 air monitoring stations. Most of the state is not monitored. Most of the Wasatch Front is not monitored. Only a restricted number of pollutants are monitored. Air pollution is a local matter. The network needs to be much more dense.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

Too bad the Editors at the DN missed the news letter "Air Quality Newsletter—2008" put out by Wasatch Front Regional Council. They show that we have less pollutants being put into the air.

The other problem is that we don't have any quantifiable data showing that the short term exposure to the pollutants in Salt Lake has any lasting health detrements. Think of it like a rock concert. You may come out with ringing ears, but you are ok in a day or so. You can go to those concerts every few months with no lasting effects. So, does a similar thing exist for pollution? If it is bad for a week, does any damage reverse itself over the next few weeks of good weather?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

Re: RedShirtCalTech - In pollution monitoring, if you aren't looking for it (a particular chemical) you won't find it.

RedShirtCalTech
Pasedena, CA

To "marxist" in science you can't determine long term exposure problems if you only have short term exposure measurements.

What chemicals have they only recently started to monitor?

If we only recently started to monitor certain airborn chemicals, how do we know what they were historically so that we can determine if pollution levels are rising or falling over the long term.

The Real Maverick
Orem, UT

I don't think we should do anything.

Having businesses be penalized isn't fair. They have a right to corrupt, pollute, and destroy all they want.

Let the free market decide. Let businesses regulate themselves. Besides, what's more important? Clean air and water or money?

marxist
Salt Lake City, UT

"What chemicals have they only recently started to monitor?" There's more in the air than particulates, ozone, and SO2 (the common stuff). There are local pools of industrial chemical aerosols of various types - the only way to catch these is with sporadic stack tests - entirely inadequate. All of us do not know what we are being exposed to in air, water, and soils.

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