Ravell Call, Deseret News
Hawthorne Elementary School students walk laps with an air quality monitoring station in the background, Monday, Dec. 12, 2011.

One would think that the EPA's "partial disapproval" of Utah's plan to clean up our dirty air would be viewed as a disappointment rather than a victory, as Bryce Bird from the Deptartment of Air Quality seems to want us to think.

After all, the EPA said Utah isn't doing nearly enough to cut nitrogen oxides and particulate matter from the state's multiple aging coal-fired power plants. Both pollutants are well known to cause a host of health issues, including respiratory problems, asthma attacks, cardiovascular problems and permanent lung damage.

The state should be demanding that Rocky Mountain Power, which owns the coal plants, install the most advanced pollution control upgrades available. Why Utah regulators give decrepit coal plants preferential treatment over the lungs and health of Utahns is beyond me.

It would seem that the only thing hazier than the Utah air is the judgment of our state's air quality regulators.

Maya Christopherson

Salt Lake City