History & Milestones


*Our organization received our first federal and local government grants. We were selected for the EPA Environmental Justice Small Grant and a grant from the Centers for Disease Control through Salt Lake County Housing Department to lower the risk of blood lead poisoning in children and increase blood lead level testing. Through the collaborative work of UPHE consultant, Dr. Claudia Fruin and the Utah Lead Coalition we have updated and improved lead poisoning treatment guidelines and risk assessments. In just 8 months, UPHE’s education and outreach program with SLCo have reached more than 1,500 community members and 100+ health providers. We have also convened 23 stakeholder meetings at participated in 28 events

*We won an air toxics case together with Earthjustice that would compel the EPA to update health standards for hazardous air pollutants from 9 industrial sources

*Together with partners, we successfully engaged the community in stopping a planned Navitus waste-to-energy “incinerator” in Sandy, UT

*We obtained a preliminary injunction that would prevent a business from tampering with pollution controls in diesel trucks for the duration of the case

*We co-organized and participated in several major rallies such as the 2017 clean air rally, March for Science and People’s Climate March

*UPHE called for climate action in 2014 together with the Utah Medical Association during a time when talking about climate change was significantly less popular than today. Last year, UPHE became the first U.S. state-based partner of the global Unmask My City campaign by health professionals calling for climate action and better air quality.

*In just 1 ½ years we’ve doubled our total donation and grants – an indicator of the increased support from individual donors and our capacity to deliver programs.

Past accomplishments

*Helped accomplish the passage of a new law that permits Utah to enact tougher air quality regulations than the EPA currently allows.

*Intensified the national spotlight on the high rates of infant deaths in the Uinta Basin, this time by facilitating a feature story in Rolling Stone magazine.

*Spearheaded the historic clean air rallies on Capitol Hill the last two years that have drawn drawn thousands of people demanding clean air.

*Opened a new office and hired Beth Haynes as UPHE’s Outreach and Membership Director.

*With our allies UPHE settled a critical lawsuit forcing Tesoro and the other Utah oil refineries to update and bring their Clean Air Act Title V permits into compliance, something that hadn’t been done for 20 years.

*Worked with Salt Lake and Summit County officials to get Utah’s toughest restrictions on wood burning implemented.

*Worked with allies all across the nation in getting new Clean Air Act rules passed for the 137 oil refineries in the U.S., rules that will now regulate flaring, reduce fugitive emissions, and require more monitoring.

*Saw our battle to stop Kennecott’s large mine expansion come to an end when Kennecott announced it was withdrawing its permit for adding an additional rock crusher.

*Worked with citizens in Draper and Salt Lake County to successfully oppose an expansion of the Geneva gravel pit at Point of the Mountain.

*Argued before the Utah Supreme Court our lawsuit to stop the expansion of the Tesoro Refinery, which could add 59 more tons of PM2.5 to our airshed (that’s a lot of pollution).

*Held public seminars on the latest medical research on how air pollution affects the brain, fetal development and pregnancy outcomes.

*UPHE has helped fight the Sevier Power Plant, whose final nail in the coffin was driven this fall.

*UPHE submitted numerous, heavily researched, widely acclaimed technical reports to state and federal regulators on issues like ozone standards, coal leases, the clean power plan and the mountain accord.