LOCAL NEWS

Utah Lawmakers Consider $100 Million In Air Quality Projects

Feb 13, 2019, 7:27 PM | Updated: Mar 11, 2019, 3:56 pm

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – From swapping out gas lawnmowers for battery operated models to replacing wood stoves with natural gas appliances, Utah lawmakers on Wednesday considered more than $100 million in requests to improve air quality.

“Those wood stoves put out a lot of pollution,” said Rep. Patrice Arent, D-Millcreek. “There are days during our inversions where they are 15 percent of our overall pollution. So it’s important to make sure we can get as many of those exchanged with cleaner forms of fuel stoves as we can.”

Members of the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality Appropriations Subcommittee listened to presentations from lawmakers and the Utah Division of Air Quality that focused on initiatives that would provide the greatest impact for the least amount of money.

“The majority of pollution comes from our personal choices and there are things we can do to reduce that,” said Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality.

Arent noted that the programs would be voluntary. She said air quality is important not just for the health of Utah residents but also for our state’s economic development and tourism industry.

In his State of the State address last month, Gov. Gary Herbert detailed the state’s goal of reducing per-capita emissions by 25 percent by 2026.

“One of the most complex challenges as a result of our growth is our air quality,” Herbert said.

To accomplish that goal, he called for a $100 million “down payment” for projects to improve air quality.

“The state itself is one of Utah’s largest employers. So let us lead by example,” Herbert said in his January 30th address. “Because tailpipe emissions are such a big part of the problem, let’s reduce the miles driven by state employees by increasing state employee use of transit and accountable telework.”

“The idea is the state needs to lead in terms of improving our air quality,” Arent said. “If we don’t have as many people on the roads, if they can be at home working, that will help us with our air quality. It will help not have to build as many state buildings. It also helps produce jobs in rural Utah.”

The Utah Division of Air Quality proposed the following projects:

  • Teleworking initiative for state employees, including telecommuting plans during “air action days”
  • Electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure at state buildings for use by employees and members of the public
  • Replacement of standard and heavy-duty diesel state fleet vehicles with cleaner alternatives
  • State building upgrades to improve energy efficiency
  • Replacement of two-stroke engines with cleaner electric models through lawnmower and snow blower exchanges
  • Replacement of dirty diesel engines with cleaner alternatives, including business and industry fleet vehicles, school buses, semi-trucks, commercial and municipal buses, switch locomotives
  • Vehicle Replacement Assistance
  • Replacement of wood-burning stoves and fireplaces with cleaner burning natural gas
  • Enhance air quality education and messaging campaigns
  • Increase weatherization assistance
  • Promote transit utilization on poor air quality days

KSL 5 TV Live

Top Stories

Local News

JR Johansen with his Uvalde portraits...
Dan Rascon

Utah artist delivers portraits to families of Uvalde shooting victims

A Utah artist recently took a life-changing trip to a small Texas town to make a special delivery for residents who are still recovering from a horrific mass shooting.
1 day ago
Handcuffs in a jail cell FILE PHOTO (Ravell Call/Deseret News)...
Pat Reavy

Four teens looking for rival gang members charged in connection with triple killing at party

Four teen boys have been charged in connection with a gang-related shooting at a house party in West Jordan last year that left three people dead.
1 day ago
A side by side of the two photos. (KSL-TV)...
Lauren Steinbrecher

Utah woman’s engagement photo pays tribute to grandmother’s love story at Bryce Canyon National Park

A Utah couple's engagement photo recreating the bride-to-be's grandparents at Bryce Canyon National Park 63 years later is going viral, with a beautiful love story behind it.
1 day ago
Railroad crossing safety...
Katija Stjepovic

Bill to make Utah railroad crossings safer advances in House

As the beehive state continues to grow, more people are commuting, whether by car, train, or foot, we have seen more collisions on Utah`s railroads.
1 day ago
The Provo Airport is beyond capacity, and plans are being made for increased service and more growt...
Alex Cabrero

New Provo Airport discussing expansion after year of rapid growth

A new airport in Provo is already at capacity and continually growing -- discussions of expanding and additional service are already underway.
1 day ago
Inversion over Salt Lake City...
Jed Boal

UTA free fare year proposed to improve Utah’s air quality

The bipartisan Utah Legislative Clean Air Caucus unveiled several bills and appropriations Tuesday aimed at improving air quality in Utah.  
1 day ago

Sponsored Articles

vintage photo of lighting showroom featuring chandeliers, lamps, wall lights and mirrors...
Lighting Design

History of Lighting Design | Over 25 Years of Providing Utah With the Latest Trends and Styles

Read about the history of Lighting Design, a family-owned and operated business that paved the way for the lighting industry in Utah.
Fiber Optical cables connected to an optic ports and Network cables connected to ethernet ports...
Brian Huston, CE and Anthony Perkins, BICSI

Why Every Business Needs a Structured Cabling System

A structured cabling system benefits businesses by giving you faster processing speeds and making your network more efficient and reliable.
notebook with password notes highlighted...
PC Laptops

How to Create Strong Passwords You Can Actually Remember

Learn how you can create strong passwords that are actually easy to remember! In a short time you can create new ones in seconds.
house with for rent sign posted...
Chase Harrington, president and COO of Entrata

Top 5 Reasons You May Want to Consider Apartment Life Over Owning a Home

There are many benefits of renting that can be overshadowed by the allure of buying a home. Here are five reasons why renting might be right for you.
Festive kitchen in Christmas decorations. Christmas dining room....
Lighting Design

6 Holiday Decor Trends to Try in 2022

We've rounded out the top 6 holiday decor trends for 2022 so you can be ahead of the game before you start shopping. 
Happy diverse college or university students are having fun on their graduation day...
BYU MBA at the Marriott School of Business

How to Choose What MBA Program is Right for You: Take this Quiz Before You Apply!

Wondering what MBA program is right for you? Take this quiz before you apply to see if it will help you meet your goals.
Utah Lawmakers Consider $100 Million In Air Quality Projects