EPA report: The air we breathe is getting cleaner

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  • mrjj69 bountiful, UT
    Aug. 5, 2018 4:36 a.m.

    i am not going to question the "experts" .... but my lungs hurt a lot when there is pollution in the air......

  • carman Wasatch Front, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 10:52 a.m.

    We are only 3 months from the time of year when the DesNews typically starts publishing an endless string of articles about bad air along the Wasatch Front. There are a few handfuls of people along the Wasatch Front who incessantly lobby every year to shut down pollution sources with heavy handed regulation without any regard for the economic impact on the average family in terms of cost of vehicles and equipment, the cost of lost jobs, etc. No doubt some are quite sensitive to our air inversions, but the average person not so much. Much more important to most families is the job market, wages, the cost of food, housing and transportation, etc.

    Heavy handed regulation that pushes too hard destroys jobs in the short-run and increases the prices of goods and services. Travel to California's most regulated cities and you will instantly see how high these costs can go. We need to balance tighter regulation with economic growth and the pace of technology development. Yes, tighter regulation can increase the pace of pollution reducing technology innovation. Again, however, we need to balance this with economic growth and affordability.

  • NoNamesAccepted St. George, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 7:23 a.m.

    The LDS Salt Lake Temple was power washed in about 1962. A short 30 years later in 1993 it received a full exterior refresh with repair of the granite and mortar, chemical wash, and repainting of wood trim. It required full scaffolding.

    I recall how dingy and dirty the granite was as the scaffolding went up compared to how bright and clean it was when the work was completed.

    We are not yet at 30 years since the SL Temple was cleaned. But we are closing in on that time. The temple is much cleaner today than it was the last time it had been 25 years since a good washing.

    And this even as population has dramatically increased along the Wasatch Front.

    The air is better, violent crime is down, lifespans are higher, medical technology is markedly improved in many areas, we have lots of jobs. We have our challenges, but lets not think the past was always better or that we are inextricably headed to doom and gloom.

  • Utah Girl Chronicles Eagle Mountain, UT
    Aug. 3, 2018 7:12 a.m.

    When Trump gave the pen from the first bill he signed to the CEO of DuPont, it's impossible not to consider any EPA report a work of considerable fiction.

  • Thid Barker Victor, ID
    Aug. 3, 2018 6:52 a.m.

    Under President Trump's leadership and policies, everything is getting better, even the air is cleaner!

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 10:31 p.m.

    "Do you folks really believe the air is cleaner now than in 1990?"

    Yes, I do. I have lived almost my entire life somewhere on or near the Wasatch Front, and I have seen first-hand the huge reductions in air pollution from when I was a child.

    Some of this was due to regulation -- especially the redesign of the automobile engine mandated by the 1970 Clean Air Act. The average 2018 model car emits less than 1% of the pollution of the average 1968 model car.

    Some of it was due to improvements technology, and the replacement of dirty coal and wood furnaces by those using clean and efficient natural gas. And thanks to abundant local supplies of natural gas, most electricity along the Wasatch Front is generated using natural gas instead of coal.

    And some of it was due to plain old economics. Geneva Steel went out of business because they couldn't compete, while Kennecott upgraded to a cleaner, more efficient smelter in order to keep up with other producers.

    The air quality along the Wasatch Front is better today than at any time in the past 60 years. That's not an opinion; it's a fact.

  • FelisConcolor Layton, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 10:18 p.m.

    I have a question: Were the numbers of unhealthy days on that chart adjusted for the new, stricter air quality standards? Or do those numbers reflect the numbers of unhealthy days under the older, looser standards?

    Because if the pre-2008 numbers of unhealthy days are based on the older standards, then the air is even cleaner today than it was in 2000.

    The current ozone standard of 0.070 ppm is so strict that days that are considered unhealthy today wouldn't have even gotten out of the "green" zone in 2000, when the standard was 0.085 ppm. And if the current standard had been in effect in 2000, the number of "unhealthy" days would practically double.

    This is why I don't pay much attention to air quality alerts anymore: They are triggered by levels of pollution which are at best only mildly irritating to the average healthy person.

    For the overwhelming majority of Utahns air pollution today is merely a seasonal inconvenience, like pollen or dust.

  • UtahBlueDevil Alpine, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 9:32 p.m.

    People who say the air is dirtier than it was 20 or 30 years ago I have to question their recollection. When Kennicot and the steal mill in Utah Valley were spewing at their hardest, the air at times was horrible. A lot of these heavy industries are either gone now, or have retrofitted to minimize their emissions.

    Also don't forget that pollutants come in a wide range of forms - from invisible, tasteless and odorless, to heavy particulate emissions like we used to see from the oil/coal heat that used to be prevalent and the rail yard that ran the length of down town.

    I think if you had a way-back machine and could go to the 70s and 80s, you might see a lot more solution than you remembered. It's just that back then we accepted it as just the way things were. I remember the days in the late 70s when my grandmothers home was covered to natural gas heat how much cleaner just her own how was from that point forward.

    We often remember the past if favorable terms.... its just human nature.

  • Mark from Montana Davis County, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 9:28 p.m.

    Based on this news, we can stop worrying about auto emissions, just like Trump is doing. We don't need to improve any more, or worry about how hot it is getting.

  • at long last. . . Kirksville , MO
    Aug. 2, 2018 8:43 p.m.

    Do you folks really believe the air is cleaner now than in 1990? Based on observation there is much more pollution in the air within the valley. Pollution I used to look down at in the valley in the 90s I now look up at. My eyes tell me there is considerably more pollution in the valley than used to be the case. I strongly suspect there are significant problems in where the air samples are being taken - or perhaps not taken.

  • Harrison Bergeron Holladay , UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:59 p.m.

    @ Roland Kayser

    I don't dismiss any of the good things the EPA has done. However, let's not forget that left to its own devices it would classify the air we exhale (carbon dioxide) as an air pollutant and defined puddles, water in tire ruts or standing water as disturbed wetlands to be regulated under the Clean Water Act. The EPA is like a wild bull - unharnessed and unchecked - it can and has done a lot of damage. Properly restrained and directed it can do a lot of good.

  • THEREALND Mishawaka, IN
    Aug. 2, 2018 6:54 p.m.

    Rivers in Ohio don't catch on fire anymore either. Thank God for the EPA!

  • Roland Kayser Cottonwood Heights, UT
    Aug. 2, 2018 4:27 p.m.

    So it seems like EPA regulations work just as they are supposed to.