Thank you Amy Joi O'Donoghue for a wonderful series of articles on a topic
so vital to our health and lives. We can and will do better in making our
environment healthier with articles like this.
"The Utah Foundation study noted the curious statistical anomaly that shows
despite estimates that Salt Lake County emissions have plunged by 47 percent
from 2002-2011, there has been no marked difference in the number of high
pollution days during that time frame."There's nothing
curious about it: The pollution standards were tightened during that time
period, with the PM 2.5 standard cut almost in half and the ozone standard
reduced by about 6%. In addition, the state has adopted standards which are
more strict than those of the EPA when it comes to declaring burn restrictions
in the winter.As a result, days where in the past the pollution
would have been considered "yellow" are now considered to be
"red". Data show the actual average levels of PM 2.5 have steadily
declined since 2002, and Utah has had no problem complying with the new tighter
annual PM 2.5 standard.