Clearing the air: Utah's pollution problem and what Utahns can do to improve it

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  • My2Cents Taylorsville, UT
    Jan. 23, 2014 2:32 a.m.

    Its true the air is better than it was 30 years ago but it is because of a multiple of factors. The EPA created tighter exhaust standards on industrial and vehicle emissions in the early 1980's. Then we lost thousands of jobs in the 1990's which closed a lot of industries and businesses related to job and prosperity forcing people into retirement and communal family homes to help their children families who can't afford middle class poverty.

    We desperately need some new corporate government leadership (Governor rewarding buddies) that is more interested in peoples lives than in persoanl career benefits from special interest and developer rewards. The Governor pumps hundreds of millions of dollars into overpopulation, government expansion, corporate growth along the Wasatch front.

    Our state leaders pumped over 50 billion dollars into pollution expansion in the last 15 years and zero dollars in reducing pollution by a simple development relocation plan. Increased particulate pollution is road debris, not emission or environmental related. The lie that not being taxed enough is responsible is ridiculous. And this leadership plans to pump another $1,000,000,000 million dollars into more environmental particulate matter over the next 5 years.

  • Shamal Happy Valley, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:00 p.m.

    Lets agree that every dime spent toward studying, discussing, and lobbying on the issue be repurposed to removing the barriers to widespread adoption of natural gas.
    In the end there is not a whole lot we can do, but everyone prefers cleaner air and loves the idea of bargain fuel prices.

  • sprywolf Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:28 p.m.

    one vote

    I like your comment, but I'll take it one step further. Make Hydrogen cars cheaper and easier to fill up.

  • Iron Rod Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 9:18 p.m.

    Well it is an accepted fact that we pay farmers to not grow food.
    Both conservatives and liberals seem to agree with that.

    Why not compensate some of the industrial sources of pollution to shut down when we have these temperature inversions to see if it makes a difference.

    Also there will be an information rally at the State Capitol Saturday at 12;00 noon if you are concerned about wanting more action from the State Government.

  • Annalisa Woodland, CA
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:59 p.m.

    There are many things that the people in Utah can do to help clean up the air. Not every county in Utah has smog checks on vehicles. Every car, truck, and etc. should have a strict smog check. Utah sells dirty gas. The gas can be refined to burn cleaner. Utah needs to have stricter emissions controls on the refiners and on other dirty businesses. Homes should not be burning wood during inversions. Public transportation needs to be expanded. People and business that pollute need to pay fines until it is cheaper to change then to pay fines. Yes, this will cost money. It is cheaper then medical costs due to the pollution. Who is going to take care of the autistic people? Utah has twice the national number of autistic children. Work time and productive is lost due to asthma. Many of my neighbors and friends will not visit Utah because of the pollution. It makes me sad that this beautiful state is getting a bad reputation and people seem to do nothing.

  • one vote Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 7:33 p.m.

    Mandatory electric cars and propane trucks.

  • kiddsport Fairview, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 2:41 p.m.

    Thirty years ago when I was in college, we use to envision the future where air pollution would be reduced because telecommuting would be the norm due to the acceleration of technology. Well, technology advanced. Unfortunately, management maturity didn't keep pace and hasn't figured out how to manage work rather than managing bodies.

  • DEW Sandy, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 1:51 p.m.

    Why not put in many wind mills in Nevada to push this HIGH Pressure in that state. Should that work to get rid of bad air. I didn't think so.

    I remember in Provo while going to BYU in the early 80's, the air was stinky coming from Geneva Plant and I am glad they are gone!

  • Flashback Kearns, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:58 a.m.

    I remember days back in the 80's where you couldn't see 10 feet due to the inversion. Since there is no more Geneva Steel and Kennecott has smog controls, I don't consider the air any worse than then, and instead much better. I remember the days sitting in class in the 60's in McMillan School in Murray and not being able to see the Oquirrh mountains on the west and the Wasatch on the east, during the spring and summer.

    I consider this a non-issue. The air is much better now than then. We live in a bowl. Sometimes the lid is clammped on by mother nature. Nothing we can do about that.

  • procuradorfiscal Tooele, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 11:47 a.m.

    Re: "Clearing the air. . . what Utahns can do to improve it."

    The answer is -- nothing.

    Those 20-40 days a year when valley inversions rule our local weather, there has always been a haze. And there always will be. No matter how much money rapacious, tree-hugging liberals needlessly suck out of the economy and flush down one or another crony-capitalist scam.

    Most of what you can see in the air is aerosolized water, chlorides, and nitrates. They come mostly from the Lake. Some of it may originate in the salt we spread on highways that's aerosolized by vehicle traffic, but most of it is generated by winds across the Lake.

    And, nearly ALL of what you see is completely harmless.

    Whining about today's Utah air quality is either disingenuous or uninformed. Utah's air quality problem was solved 30-50 years ago.

    All that's left today is the liberal whining.

  • TRUTH Salt Lake City, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:39 a.m.

    Smog has been here for 70 is no different today than in the 1945 when I was a kid.
    If you want to defeat my guest, ride your bike, walk, and get rid of those empty UTA buses....but it will always be part of SL Valley this time of year no matter what you do about it........

  • george of the jungle goshen, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:20 a.m.

    As I saw the sun light shine through the window I see sparkly floating in the air. is that what we are talking about or is it the sparkle's that is in the air on a cold bright morning.

  • LivinLarge Bountiful, UT
    Jan. 22, 2014 10:13 a.m.

    I was entertaining a family from San Diego this past week. They came to do some skiing in Park City and vowed never to return to SLC in the winter due to the "smog" as they refer to it. Forget "inversion layer", it's just good old fashioned smog and it is TERRIBLE!