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Comments about ‘Board approves state air quality plan; critics say it doesn't go far enough’

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Published: Wednesday, Jan. 8 2014 7:05 p.m. MST

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itsjustme
Vernal, UT

If you look at photographs and read what people wrote a hundred years ago, the pollution in the Salt Lake valley was considerably worse.

At the time, everyone heated their homes with coal. The air was filled with soot and other particulates. People would not hang their laundry out to dry, as it came inside dirtier than it was hung out. Respiratory problems were many.

Yes, the air gets dirty in the Winter. But when you live in a valley, you get the temperature inversions. Not a whole lot you can do about it, other than stop doing anything that causes any pollution. (Not very practical.)

The air is a lot better today than it used to be, given the large population increase in the past 100 years.

Spoc
Ogden, UT

If you really think we have the worst air quality in the country, check out AIRNow for daily peak air quality maps as far back as April 2010 for any state or region in the country. Try the California/Nevada daily maps which also cover Utah. The San Joaquin Valley and Modoc Plateau of California almost always have worse air quality than the Salt Lake Valley any time of year. The one notable exception was the fourth week of Jan 2013 which was not good at all! Even then, the Wasatch Front was only Unhealthy compared to Uintah Basin's Very Unhealthy on those days. What I did not realize was that Los Angeles air problems don't seem to happen during the winter. Curious...

dustmagnet
heber city, UT

It appears that some want to revisit the past - the past does not matter - what matters is that the air quality "now" is unhealthy and needs dramatic improvement. The question remains "What is the State Government going to do to make the air quality safe?"
The permitting of industries needs to be examined and changed to ensure the safety for all citizens. Permitting industries to exceed the clean air act needs to stop.

Spicy Is Good
Cedar Hills, UT

I think what said by "itsjustme, Vernal, UT" is what I want to say. People ignore what the real air quality statics data and going ahead just complain what they feel. When someone say “move out of Utah because of the worst air quality”, it goes too far from the truth, I’d like to say to those ones: GO OUT UTAH TODAY.

jdesto
Utah, UT

There are two things here, just because you want stricter laws or rules, they still need to be attainable, just saying you want them doesn't make them possible.

Second, I recently drove by a couple of schools about the time they start, there were literally hundreds of parent dropping kids off at school. I can't imagine that this is needed, do we not supply busses for this purpose? I will say in my small subdivision we have several families with kids, most ride the bus, but I continually see that kids are late and need to be driven to school. I know when I was young, if we would get a ride, but I can't remember that happening too much, you got up and went to school. So why are parents driving kids to school? they do not want them out in the cold? It seems to me that we could help our issues by driving less and this would help out. Not to mention the huge SUV's they are using to make this trip.

Tire_Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

The article didn't mention anything about what the Board plans to do about the #1 source of emissions, namely vehicle emissions. I suggest Director Bird should lead the way by granting his environmental scientists to work from home. It's called telecommuting and it's being underutilized, especially at the Dept. of Environmental Quality.

Tire_Guy
Salt Lake City, UT

The article didn't mention anything about what the Board plans to do about the #1 source of emissions, namely vehicle emissions. I would suggest that Director Bird lead the way by allowing his environmental scientists to work from home. Telecommuting is underutilized by the State and especially by the Dept. of Environmental Quality. We need to get cars off the road. This would be one way.

dustmagnet
heber city, UT

Again, I feel that people are missing the point. It doesn't matter what the air quality is like in other places or in other eras, what is important is that the air quality now, here in Utah, reaches unsafe levels and that the State government is not addressing this to any substantial degree.

Jeff Bowles
Salt Lake, UT

No mention of how all those attending to "rally" for stricter standards all arrived on foot or by bicycle to show their support for cleaner air. Maybe we will see that in another article. Oh wait. I forgot that liberal pollution isn't bad, just conservative pollution. What's that old saying....do as I say, not as I do.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'If you really think we have the worst air quality in the country, check out AIRNow for daily peak air quality maps as far back as April 2010 for any state or region in the country.'


**'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.' - article

Notice, a failing argument when they cannot actually cite the claims. It begins with 'go look up'…

Utah's air quality is the worst in the nation. It has been proven time and again…

*'Utah's air quality Thursday among worst in the nation' – By Shara Park & Mary Richards – KSL Utah – 01/02/14
'SALT LAKE CITY — Parts of Utah currently have some of the worst air quality in the country..'

Making obscure comparisons to 100 years ago is child logic.

We are not 100 years in the past. No matter how hard some try.

People are factually dying, from the poison in our air, that Utah leaders continue to allow.

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

FelisConcolor
North Salt Lake, UT

Pagan, why do you continue to ignore the comparative air quality data available at the EPA's AirCompare website? (Besides the obvious fact they don't support your viewpoint, that is).

No one denies that on a handful of days every year some counties along the Wasatch Front have the highest particulate levels in the nation. That doesn't mean Utah has the "worst air in the nation" any more than Salt Lake recording more precipitation on one day than anywhere else means Utah has the wettest climate in the nation.

On average the pollution levels in Utah exceed federal standards far less often and far less consistently than in places in Southern California, Southern Arizona or even Montana. This is a documented fact; your stubborn refusal to accept it speaks volumes about your intellectual integrity.

Ironically, when Shara Park gave that breathless live morning report about air quality last week above the Capitol, the actual PM 2.5 levels for Salt Lake County were in the "green" range. The editorial staff at KSL didn't bother to check the current air quality readings and instead based their report entirely on the air quality forecast for the day.

Pagan
Salt Lake City, UT

'Pagan, why do you continue to ignore the comparative air quality data available at the EPA's AirCompare website? '

Because you have no evidence?

Directing someone to a website is not due diligence.

And it certainly, is not a valid example of research.

Please take note:

*'EPA inventory shows Utah's sources of greenhouse gas' - By Amy Joi O'Donoghue - 02/05/13 - Published by the Deseret News

'WASHINGTON — The nation's power plants continue to be the single largest stationary source of greenhouse gas emissions, according to new information released Tuesday by the Environmental Protection Agency.'
(sic)
In Utah, 14 power plants are responsible for 75 percent of the state's direct greenhouse gas emissions, releasing 33 million metric tons. '

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