There’s a lot more than baseball in the Utah air

We can do something about the air quality where we live. Please take efforts to reduce your own impact, and vote and advocate for good air quality policy. Photo by E P Kosmicki.

Salt Lake City has been buzzing about the potential of hosting a Major League Baseball (MLB) team since concept images were released. A notable and realistic aspect of the concept images that caught a lot of folks’ eyes are the three giant smokestacks right down centerfield. 

Salt Lake City resident, Dio Tararrel, wrote an excellent op-ed for the Salt Lake Tribune on the possibility of an MLB team in Salt Lake City in the context of our air quality crisis, in which he suggests some names based on our current situation: 

“The SLC Smoggers? On top of the three in center field, the stadium would be located near the tallest smokestack west of the Mississippi. Say what you want about Utah, we know our smokestacks!

The Inland Port Inhalers? The new ballpark would sit a few miles downwind of the new inland port, a 16,000-acre industrial hub that is all but certain to have a major impact on air quality.

The Ex-Lakers? Even with this winter’s record-breaking snowpack, the Great Salt Lake is still struggling from a historic drought and is still at “high risk” of disappearing in our lifetimes.”

The Deseret Dust Clouds? CNN reported earlier this year that “centuries of natural and manmade toxins like mercury, arsenic and selenium” have been exposed on the lakebed, and kicked up and into our lungs by seasonal winds.

The Salt Lake Dry Docks? “Dry” could even work for alcohol-abstaining Utah — and a built-in rivalry with the Milwaukee Brewers!

The Tooele Tailpipes? The ballpark could be within a few miles of a newly expanded I-15, potentially as massive as 20 lanes wide. About half of the inversion is caused by automobile pollution.

The Fighting PM2.5ers? The ballpark would sit in one of the most highly air polluted census tracts in the state, nestled between four cancer-causing “hot spots” for industrial air pollution.

It’s not all jokes, though. While we work together to fight major industry polluters, Tararrel reminds readers that there are meaningful actions residents can take to reduce their own impact. Warmer days open up alternative forms of transportation for many residents, please consider walking, biking or utilizing UTA services in the coming months. 

Read the full op-ed here.