Air Quality

Credit unews.utah.edu

This is a conglomeration of the coverage Utah Public Radio is doing on the air quality problem in Utah. This grouping includes Access Utah's coverage of the issue, as well as pertinent news.

Utah Stories

Today on Access Utah, a look at state air quality legislation. This episode was first broadcast in March during the final week of the 2020 session of the Utah Legislature.

Standard Examiner

The American Lung Association recently released their annual State of the Air report.

Will Barrett is the Director of Clean Air advocacy for the American Lung Association.

“Nearly half of Americans live in counties that have unhealthy ozone or particle pollution.  Unfortunately that includes about two and a half million people in the Salt Lake City region," Barrett said.

Coronavirus, COVID-19; Pollution caused by PM2.5, NO2 decreased in China from Jan. 1 to Feb. 25 due to coronavirus-related shutdowns, and similar data is coming in from the U.S.
Josh Stevens / NASA Earth Observatory

While there are many economic concerns about business shutdowns related to the coronavirus, Utah State University professor Randy Martin said one positive outcome has been the reduction in emissions, leading to better air quality throughout the world.

Steve Strauss, creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/

When we told psychologist Joshua Jackson that we were going to ask him to have a discussion with an expert in tree genetics, he wasn’t sure how it would go. But after the conversation, Jackson marvelled at just how interconnected their two worlds of research were. 

We think you will, too.

This week on the program, we’re talking about how to use genetics to reduce pollution. Then we’re going to talk about how words that convey emotion overlap and diverge as they evolve in different languages. And then, as we’re wont to do, we’re going to bring these two very different areas of research together.  

en.wikipedia.org/

According to the American Lung Associations State of the Air 2019 report, Utah ranked number seven in the worst air quality in the United States.  One solution legislators are considering to improve Utah’s air quality is tier three gasoline.

Salt Lake City, Utah, with a weather inversion, can bring a host of health concerns, including coronary artery disease, chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, and acute lower respiratory tract infections.
kryhin / AdobeStock

As lawmakers returned to the Capitol this week, they found copies of The Utah Roadmap, a paper aimed at developing policies — or mileposts — to improve air quality and address changing climate. 

To Improve Air Quality, Idaho Buys Utah A Bus

Jul 3, 2019
Chris Wernert of the Idaho Department of Environmental Quality boards the new bus his agency provided to the Cache Valley Transit District. The DEQ hopes the low-emissions bus will help improve air quality across Cache Valley.
Chris Polansky / Utah Public Radio

A partnership between the state of Idaho and Utah’s Cache Valley Transit District is hoping a new bus can help improve air quality across Cache Valley. 

Webster University

Yoram Bauman is the world’s first and only stand-up economist. He is co-author of the “Cartoon Introduction to Climate Change” and the two volume “Cartoon Introduction to Economics,” and the 1998 book “Tax Shift,” which helped inspire the revenue-neutral carbon tax in British Columbia. He is campaign co-chair for the new Clean the Darn Air initiative, which supporters are working to get on the ballot in Utah in 2020.

9. Air Quality

May 7, 2019
Salt Lake Tribune

UPR Science Reporter Jennifer Pemberton examines air quality in Cache Valley and beyond. This story originally aired in May 2013.

The independent

An event titled the “Southern Utah Clean Air Forum” was held recently in St. George. It was billed as “a discussion of proposed federal, state & local legislation focused on reducing energy emissions to improve our health and our children’s futures.” As we head toward the opening of the Utah Legislature next week, we’ll talk about clean air and the climate with three of the panelists from the forum on Thursday’s Access Utah.

Chris Bunker / The Daily Universe

This week on UnDisciplined, we're talking about really small things, like cell cultures and their effect on research, and really big things, like our planet's climate and its effect on human movement. 

Phone app monitors air quality locally
Utah Department of Environmental Quality

 

 

Does your weekly weather forecast include reminders about air quality? If not, there’s an app for that. An updated version of the UtahAir App has just been released and it contains some new features that allow Utah residents to closely monitor conditions in their area. 

oil fields rigs
Max Pixel

To individuals living along the Wasatch Front and in the Uinta Basin, inversions are not a new phenomena. However, studies have shown that industries can dramatically affect what is trapped in an inversion.

Two white men, one with a blue shirt and one with a red shirt sit behind a black tablet, sensors, and a google home.
Dan Hixson/University of Utah College of Engineering

The University of Utah’s School of Computing are setting up participants with tools to monitor the air quality in their own homes. This pilot program may change how people visualize and perceive the air in their homes. 

Map of United States with temperature scale of smoke such that red is large amounts of smoke. Orange and red colors over the western US.
NOAA

For many residents in northern Utah, our characteristic mountains are shroud in a hazy smoke. The cold front that entered on Monday brought with it northwesterly and westerly winds carrying smoke from the many fires in the western United States.

A TRAX light rail train pulls into the station with railroads, green grass, and a blue sky.
HEAL Utah

New research out of the University of Utah tracks air quality across the Wasatch Front through instruments placed on TRAX light rail trains, revealing diverse air quality patterns throughout the Wasatch Front.

Environmental tax suggests we pay more for gas to offset environmental costs
Jennings

The Cache Clean Air Consortium hosts regular events that enable residents to learn about and become involved with improving their local air. Their events include the annual high school Clean Air Poster contests, bike challenges and expert talks. 

Doctor discusses health with patient
59th Medical Ward / United States Air Force

The study finds poor air quality not only affects our environment, but also our health. Researchers University of Utah Health and Intermountain Healthcare report a correlation between high incidents of pneumonia and winter inversions along the Wasatch Front. 

https://www.flickr.com/photos/armydre2008/4230901721/in/photostream/

Poor air quality remains a serious health and environmental issue for many Utahns. At Monday’s opening of the Utah Legislative Session, many officials said they advocated for improving the state’s air quality.