AIR QUALITY

EPA: Wasatch Front Winter Air ‘Cleanest In A Decade’

Nov 10, 2020, 7:26 PM | Updated: Nov 11, 2020, 5:11 am

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah – The Environmental Protection Agency said the Wasatch Front is seeing the cleanest winter air in more than a decade. The state invested millions of dollars in taxpayer money to address pollution, and now it appears to be paying off.

The ongoing pollution problem in Utah has been a concern for father Hunter Edin.

“I am going to be raising my kids here. How much exposure do I want them to have?” Edin said.

He was elated to hear the EPA declare Tuesday that the Wasatch front has come within federal pollution levels for the first time since 2009.

“The only silver lining from the pandemic is to understand we can telework and it is effective and we can be productive,” said Thom Carter with Utah’s Clean Air Partnerships. “If we move these commuter miles off of the road, it benefits our air quality.”

Carter noted the benefit of working from home, but it’s not the sole reason the EPA gave Utah this rating.

“It has taken a lot of effort, hard work, financial investment to get to this place,” he said.

The EPA looked at three years of data to make the decision.

The summer air is still a problem. The state is still working on a plan to address pollution levels in warmer months, especially when it comes to smoke from wildfires.

“Yeah sure, California is a problem with wildfires, but we’ve got to clean house first, and then have the conversations about the other states, as well,” Carter said.

That will be on Edin’s mind as well as his family grows.

“Now, that I have him with another one on the way, it makes you think more about this stuff,” he said.

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EPA: Wasatch Front Winter Air ‘Cleanest In A Decade’