The Utah Department of Air Quality is looking for your help

Dr. Moench was on KPCW’s “This Green Earth” recently speaking on the “disturbing saga” of the Utah DAQ’s recent request to the EPA to exempt Utah from national ozone standards. 

“It was a matter of Utah’s political kingpins collaborating with our biggest industrial polluters forcing our state agency, the Utah Division of Air Quality, to appeal to the EPA to provide even less protection for Utahns for ozone. If that sounds outrageous, it’s exactly what it sounds like” Dr Moench said on the segment. 

“The Utah Petroleum Association, the Utah Mining Association collaborated with the Governor, Speaker of the House, and the Senate President, to basically twist the arm of the Division of Air Quality to appeal to the EPA to basically not hold Utah to account for meeting the national ambient air quality standard for ozone.”

Fortunately for Utahns, the EPA decided to continue holding the state accountable for reducing ozone. The EPA is taking public comment on this decision, and we urge you to express your support for their decision, as well as take this opportunity to ask them to actually RAISE standards, which hasn’t been updated for several years, and doesn’t account for the latest research showing the dangers of ozone

The Utah Department of Air Quality (DAQ) is looking for ways to reduce ozone this summer along the Wasatch Front, and they’re asking for your help. They’ve created a very simple way for residents to get involved and offer their suggestions. 

Here are a few of our ideas to reduce ozone along the Wasatch Front that you should feel free to use in your suggestions: 

  • Stop spraying (especially aerially) mosquito pesticides. These pesticides produce VOC’s, that ultimately add to the ozone levels in our neighborhoods. The Salt Lake Mosquito Abatement District sprays over 1,000 gallons/year of larvicide, which is contributing to ozone.
  • Demand environmental and health impact studies for the Utah Inland Port. The Port is a massive freight transferring facility which will contribute to ozone levels via dramatic increases in vehicle traffic (especially diesel trucks) through our area. No studies have been done to show the effect on the community, and activity should be halted until such studies are conducted and viable solutions are implemented. Hold the Port accountable on their promises to be “green.” Although there’s no such thing as a green Port, improvements could be made to reduce the impacts on health to the community.
  • Support improvements to public transportation, mass transportation should be free for all, which would encourage ridership. “Free Fare February” kept 68 tons of pollution out of the air, and Saturday Frontrunner ridership increased 202%, according to the Salt Lake Tribune. Imagine the effect if this was year-round! 

Submit ozone reduction ideas here!