Sweeping proposals to improve Utah's air quality - ranging from funding increases for state regulators to implementing a light-rail system - were approved Tuesday by the governor's Clean Air Commission.
"I will make every effort in my budget recommendations to provide some resources" for the programs, said Gov. Norm Bangerter. Also, some of the recommendations can be implemented by state agencies without legislative funding.The group gave its preliminary OK to more than 100 recommendations at the July meeting. With only one minor alteration, it approved the same package on Tuesday. The recommendations, developed over months of work, are expected to be incorporated in legislative proposals over several years, starting with the January 1991 session.
Commission members seemed aware that not every proposal will be passed soon. "It's a virtual guarantee that there will be some prioritizing," Bangerter told them.
The single change was that the Utah Petroleum Association's associate director, Shelly Cordon, requested a modification in the wording concerning a plan to use oxygenated fuel, and the group approved it.
According to the preliminary draft, the commission called for an oxygenated-fuel program for all gasoline during the winter months, if cost-effective. Cordon got the group to add the phrase "and consistent with federal requirements."
On the motion of commission member Noel H. DeNevers, a University of Utah chemistry professor, the commission assigned the Bureau of Air Quality the tasks of preparing:
- An implementation plan, showing which items are most important and cost-effective, to get priority treatment by the Legislature.
- A report summarizing the proposals and outlining the reasons for each.
Bangerter said he believes that every item on the list would probably get some opposition. "There are some things that some legislators will be sure . . . (will) end their political careers if they vote for them," the governor said. He added that some will feel certain other measures might enhance their careers.
In the July meeting, 27 members of the group attended. Only 19 were present Tuesday.
Lt. Gov. Val Oveson said the commission should be restructured and its membership reduced. After the final meeting, which may take place in December, the streamlined group may become an implementation commission to help move the recommendations into practice.