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UT Governor Creates "Clean Air Action Team"

PHOTO: A newly formed group is tasked with tackling Utah's air quality issues. Image courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism.
PHOTO: A newly formed group is tasked with tackling Utah's air quality issues. Image courtesy of the Utah Office of Tourism.
October 17, 2013

SALT LAKE CITY – A newly formed group is tasked with tackling Utah's air quality issues.

Gov. Gary Herbert this week announced the launch of the Clean Air Action Team with members from advocacy groups, health care organizations, industry and the legislature.

Robin Erickson, executive director at Utah Clean Cities, is among the panel members. She says the governor is taking a positive step forward to deal with air quality concerns.

"I think him coming up with this Clean Air Action Team is an excellent idea to bring all parties together to try to come up with some long-term solutions," she says.

Herbert says the team will consider everything from regulation, legislation, education, research and transportation.

"I want to assure you that no possible solution will be left unturned," he says.

Erickson points out that when cars and trucks idle, they produce emissions that account for up to half of Utah's air pollution.

"If everybody would reduce their idling one minute a day, it's equivalent to, like, 6 million tons of particulate matter out of the sky throughout the nation,” she says. “There are huge numbers that support what we as a consumer can do, and it's hard things to do. But we need to do that if we're concerned about the future of our children."

Another growing air quality concern in Utah is wood smoke. According to Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, wood smoke is more harmful than cigarette smoke, and is a major contributor to air pollution.


Troy Wilde, Public News Service - UT