The State Health Department is working to complete a plan for reducing air pollution in Salt Lake and Davis counties, a state official says.
Burnell Cordner, director of the department's Bureau of Air Quality, said the plan will require a reduction in fine particulates in the area from all industry, wood-burning stoves, the effects of putting salt and sand on highways to reduce ice and snow, and automobile emissions, including diesel emissions.He said Salt Lake County exceeds health standards for fine particulates, which are tiny particles that are inhaled and often remain deep in the lungs.
Such particles can be carcinogenic, depending on the source, so the state is required by the federal government to write a plan for reducing the levels within acceptable limits, Cordner said.
"It was because of that that we evaluated all sources with the potential to contribute to the problem," Cordner said.
He said the plan was developed for Utah County last September and that the document is being finalized for Salt Lake and Davis counties.
Cordner said Utah Power & Light Co.'s Gadsby power plant, which went back into operation Feb. 25 after being idle since 1987 and which now uses natural gas instead of coal to produce electrical power, was only one of the major sources studied in the plan.
Cordner said all power plants, including the one at Kennecott, are "essentially required to do the same as Gadsby. Kennecott is going to install a new double contact acid plant. The oil refineries (in North Salt Lake) are going to install sulphur removal plants. Wood-burning stoves will be curtailed during temperature inversion conditions.
"The emissions from salting and sanding operations will be reduced by 25 percent and the counties in the effected areas will begin a vehicle emissions program for diesel vehicles," Cordner said.
He said all public hearings have been held on the plan, and the Health Department is evaluating comments. After that work is completed, the plan will be presented to the Air Conservation Committee for action.
Gov. Norm Bangerter will then send the plan to the Denver office of the Environmental Protection Agency for its review, comments and approval, Cordner said.