A new report released Monday by the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) shows that Utah has now healthier air, while water quality has significantly improved.
These results were due to the fact that air and water quality improvement were top priorities on the state’s environmental to-do list. Also, last year, the Utah Division of Air Quality proposed new standards for air quality that could lead to long-term impact to the state. Utah’s water quality was also improved by special policies regarding nutrients and hazardous waste spills in the state’s waters.
The Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) was also granted for the first time in the history of the state a $1 million award to be employed into Utah state air quality research.
Donna Spangler, PR specialist for the Utah DEQ, said the money would be used in research projects that tackle the environmental solutions the DAQ needed to figure out. Mrs. Spangler also said that in 2015 there would be more such projects as the division was striving to make sure Utah’s air was healthier.
The Utah Division of Air Quality also conducted a sustained campaign to convince the general public that their daily routine had a huge impact on the state’s air quality.
Every time we turn on our cars, we’re polluting. We could actually do things individually that would help make our air quality better,”
explained Mrs. Spangler.
The report also reveals that DAQ has provided impressive funds to small engine and diesel equipment upgrades through the Clean Air Retrofit and Off-Road Technology programs. DAQ also made aware the public about the negative impact on air quality of wood burning.
However, environmental organizations said that DAQ was sending out a mixed message since it worked on banning wood burning in the state, while approving Tesoro and Holly refineries to pollute Utah. Environmentalists said this was an obvious example of a double standard employed by Utah’s lawmakers and regulators.
Quality air experts say that Utah’s air could get even healthier with stricter laws on gas.
Statewide, air quality could still get a boost with stricter regulations on gas.
As you know, much of our air pollution … comes from automobiles. Tier 3 is low-sulfur gasoline that is anticipated to really improve our air quality. It could mean huge benefits, especially in the state of Utah,”
Mrs. Spangler said.
In 2017, the state plans to adopt new standards on cleaner gasoline called the “Tier 3 program”.
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