USING THE POWER OF
MOMS TO CLEAN UP
UTAH'S DIRTY AIR

Categories

Archives

Links

Utah’s Air Pollution Is A Moral Issue

February 25th, 2016

Superb editorial from the Standard Examiner!

********************************************************************************************************************************************

Monday, March 23, 2015.

Does the date ring a bell? Perhaps not.

It should, however. Because on that day, the Weber-Morgan Board of Health tabled discussion of diesel emissions testing.

And by “tabled,” we mean “decided to ignore because if we stall long enough, maybe people will forget about it.”

Then a funny thing happened — a group of about 30 parents, seniors, doctors, community workers and religious leaders showed up at Monday’s health board meeting to ask for diesel emissions testing.

Despite being stalled for 335 days, they didn’t forget.

In early February, Ogden endured some of the worst air pollution in the United States — and that was during “Idle-Free Week.”

A broken or disabled emissions control system allows a diesel to discharge up to 100 times the particulate emissions of a clean engine, a Davis County study found in early 2015.

A broken or disabled emissions control system allows a diesel to discharge up to 100 times the particulate emissions of a clean engine, a Davis County study found in early 2015.

Health board members knew about the research. They simply didn’t want to inconvenience commercial diesel operators.

So when the board’s own Air Quality Advisory Committee recommended a diesel testing program in March 2015, the board tried to quietly kill it.

“I’ve received many phone calls on this, (and) don’t know enough about it,” said Matt Bell, a Weber County commissioner and board member. “I’d like to take this off our agenda (to) work on it and do it another time.”

You’ve had 11 months to do something, commissioner.

“We’ve got a lot of trucks that are going to be licensed here,” said another board member, Morgan County Commissioner Logan Wilde. “We need more input.”

You’ve had 337 days to gather input, commissioner. And you’ve done nothing but contribute to another year of breathing problems and climbing health costs.

But you asked for more input. The Utah Department of Air Quality gave you just that Feb. 10, at the height of the inversion, when it presented data showing that diesels emit 44 percent of Utah’s on-road NOx emissions — the compounds that coalesce as particulate pollution and fuel inversions.

The DAQ shared its newest findings with the Weber-Morgan Health Department Air Quality Advisory Committee. Eleven months ago, the same committee recommended a diesel emissions testing program.

What’s your excuse now?

The 30 people who showed up at your meeting Monday understand something about air quality you fail to grasp: This is a moral issue.

“The air quality in our counties is a health issue, but it’s also a justice issue,” said the Rev. Gage Church of Ogden’s United Church of Christ. “It’s a justice issue for folks who can’t get away for vacation during bad air days, or who don’t have the means to go up to Snowbasin to get away for the day when the air is (bad).”

“The air quality in our counties is a health issue, but it’s also a justice issue,” said the Rev. Gage Church of Ogden’s United Church of Christ. “It’s a justice issue for folks who can’t get away for vacation during bad air days, or who don’t have the means to go up to Snowbasin to get away for the day when the air is (bad).”

The Weber-Morgan Board of Health should be dedicated to improving the quality of life for everyone it serves — even if they don’t drive diesels.

Do the right thing for the environment and the economy. Do the moral thing.

Implement a diesel emissions testing program.

Tailpipes and Utah’s Air Pollution: The Real Story

February 23rd, 2016

A little less than 50% of Utah’s air pollution comes from tailpipes. But let’s be very clear: that slice of the pollution pie (referred to as mobile emissions) includes refinery trucks, UPS trucks, interstate traffic, police cars, postal trucks, buses, Stericycle trucks and anything else with a license plate….so let’s not place all the tailpipe blame on citizen drivers who are just trying to get to and from work, run errands, and pick up kids from soccer practice.

DAQ, Governor Herbert, most of our Legislators and the BIG polluters love everyone thinking that it is just the little guys making most of the pollution – and therefore if we want clean air, we must just stop driving.

I do not deny that our cars are part of the problem, but until our government puts in the infrastructure for people to get out of their cars and still get to the places they need to go in a timely fashion, all their blame on mom and pop tailpipes is nearly meaningless. It is just a literal smoke screen that diverts attention from the BIG polluters who are unfairly hogging up the airshed – all the while profiting while our lungs and hearts pay the price.

Utah’s air pollution solution MUST include infrastructure for alternative transportation AND require stricter controls on ALL industrial sources of pollution.

BAD AIR OVERWHELMS UTAH DURING ANOTHER LEGISLATIVE SESSION: WILL OUR LEADERS ACT?

February 9th, 2016

BAD AIR is here to stay for the next week thanks to a high pressure system that is locking in a lid of warm air over our valley basin. Think of it this way: We are living in a toilet bowl that we are all using and no one can flush. YEP, it is that disgusting.

Consider keeping your kids in for recess even if your school doesn’t mandate indoor recess, change the air filters in your home furnace system and car (if it has one), run a portable air filter in bedrooms at night (especially in rooms with babies and young children), run that same filter in family areas at other times of the day, consider wearing air masks (to breathe cleaner air outside and to make a statement), and consider a President’s weekend getaway to some place blessed with cleaner air.

p.s. It does not have to be this way. As a society, we are CHOOSING this nasty dirty life-choking air. We can choose clean air, but only if we make our voices heard. Yes, clean air is expensive, but so is dirty air. The question is who pays the price. Should it be our babies, our children, our elders or the big polluters?

p.s.s Do you part to prevent more pollution from entering our airshed. Do not idle, but do trip-chain, carpool, delay car trips/errands that can be delayed and/or take public transportation. Also, avoid VOCs in home construction/cleaning & maintenance projects, do not burn scented candles, and no wood burning!

Sign up for air action alerts by texting CLEANAIR to 41411. Finally, PLEASE contact Governor Herbert, the DAQ, your mayor and other elected officials and say ENOUGH IS ENOUGH. UTAHNS DESERVE TO BREATHE CLEAN AIR.

Utahns Talk About Clean Air With KRCL

February 4th, 2016

http://www.krcl.org/blog/radioactive-2216/

Listen to the interview with Madeline Choir School and Utah Moms for Clean Air.

Bad Air Kills

February 3rd, 2016

Globally, air pollution kills more people every year than polluted water, car accidents and guns. The same is true for Utah. From a public health perspective air pollution is far deadlier than car accidents and gunshot wounds combined. Look at these numbers:

U.S. Deaths in 2014 from car accidents: 32,675
U.S. Deaths in 2014 from guns: about 30,000
U.S. Deaths in 2014 from air pollution: about 200,000

Where is the outrage?

The problem is when someone dies from a gunshot wound or car accident, the cause is obvious, but with air pollution, death usually creeps up insidiously and ambiguously… Essentially no one ends up in the morgue with a toe tag that says died of air pollution. Instead cause of death is listed as heart attack, asthma, lung disease, stroke, SIDS, and cancer. But the result is the same. Someone who was loved is no longer with those they love.

To get involved with the national clean air movement join Moms Clean Air Force and to get more involved with the grassroots clean air movement in Utah visit our Facebook page and text CLEANAIR to 41411. (Do it now!)

Sen. Escamilla leads with clean air bills; Sen. Iwamonto leaps in for the save.

January 29th, 2016

Yesterday Senator Escamilla brought her two bills SB 49 and SB 66 to the Senate Natural Resources Committee.  SB 49 which would have increased the statute of limitations on prosecuting violators of air quality rules from one year to five years, was amended to a two year statute of limitations, and passed on to the full Senate.  The issue arose because DAQ doesn’t have the staff to check polluters every single year. They can get through all the required checks in about 3 and a half years.  So a one year statute of limitations really doesn’t make any sense at all.  That’s like filling out your taxes, knowing that you can only possibly be audited every third year, and that no one can come after you for cheating in the two off years.

Utah Moms For Clean Air testified that this legislation gave the DAQ the tools it needed to do its important job – the job of “safeguarding human health and quality of life…” Did you know that’s actually the broad mission of the Department of Environmental Quality? This bill also sends a message that Utah’s air quality laws are to be taken seriously and that no one will be given a pass for breaking those laws.

The bill originally failed with Senators Knudson, Jenkins, Dayton, and Christensen voting NO and Senators Vickers, Iwamoto, and Shiozawa voting YES (thank you to those senators!)

Interestingly, the committee went on to the next agenda item, and after that Senator Iwamoto raised a motion to go back and amend SB49, even though it had already failed. There was some question as to whether that was proper form, but ultimately Senator Iwamoto’s motion passed, the bill was amended to a two year statute of limitations, and passed the committee with only Senator Dayton clinging to her NO vote.

This bill will be heard soon on the Senate floor – possibly Friday, maybe Monday – so PLEASE e-mail your Senator (and several others!) to support SB 49! And maybe send a thank you to Senators Knudson, Jenkins, Christensen, Vickers, Shiozawa, and Iwamoto for passing the amended version.

Two clear leaders: Senator Escamilla for sponsoring this legislation and Senator Iwamoto for bringing the bill back from the brink! I will note too that in addition to voting NO, Senator Dayton also took the opportunity during the proceedings to call the EPA “unconstitutional.” This is a view that simply needs to get out of the way. Feelings about the federal EPA are surely not relevant to the evaluation of two Utah clean air bills. Also, Utah County, which the Senator represents, sometimes has worse smog than Salt Lake County. Let’s leave our feelings about the EPA at the door, and get to solving the problem!

Senator Escamilla’s other bill would raise the fines we can levy against clean air law breakers. These fines haven’t changed since 1981. This bill increased the fines with inflation. In the end, Senator Vickers motioned to have the bill tabled pending more work on the numbers. We hope the bill will be brought back soon.

While the Senators consider this bill further, let me ask one favor:

If I get a speeding ticket, can I opt to pay the 1981 fine?

LEAD, FOLLOW, OR GET OUT OF THE WAY!

January 25th, 2016

Speaker Hughes: Eliminate Red Air Days

On the first day of the legislative session, leadership talked the talk. Now will they walk the walk?

Both President Niederhauser (R – Salt Lake) and Speaker Hughes (R – Salt Lake) noted the need for improved air quality as a priority for Utah. President Niederhauser told his fellow senators that with Utah facing a doubling in population clean air and clean water will be “vital.” Continuing, he said, “It is our nature to address these things tomorrow, and I hope we have the vision and courage to address these issues now.” In the House, Speaker Hughes spoke about air quality at length, telling his fellow representatives that Utah has significantly decreased emissions in the past 10 years, but that this reduction didn’t happen on its own, it happened because of work done in the state to address the problem. He stated that population density and geography have led to poor air quality, and that its a problem that will worsen without attention. Most strikingly, he suggested putting “a stake in the ground, right now” to make it a goal to eliminate red air days in Utah. An exciting goal, although Utah Moms For Clean Air might remind the Speaker that orange and yellow air days aren’t anything to be proud of either, and that negative health effects arise from even low-level exposure.  Let it also be noted that while we may have reduced emissions, the 2015 State of the Air report from the American Lung Association still gave Salt Lake City a failing grade.

Neither leader offered any specifics about how they intend to work toward cleaner air, although Speaker Hughes noted the importance of giving the DAQ the tools it needs for monitoring and study. It is, however, encouraging to hear both men set the tone of the session off right. As specific bills are debated, it remains to be seen how serious either leader is about improving air quality. Utah Moms For Clean Air will be listening to the debates and noting the votes. It will take more than encouraging words to clean our air. It will take more than lofty goals to keep our kids healthy. We will be waiting to see who will LEAD in action.

Good Job Salt Lake City!

January 20th, 2016

Salt Lake City recently announced that starting January 25th, curbside service for brown composting bins will be temporarily suspended until April 4th, 2016.

Why? Only 1% of brown bins were set out last winter, so residents do not really need the service during this time of the year. SLC will thus save 6,500 pounds of fuel and therefore prevent 1,070 pounds of air pollutants from unnecessarily entering our air shed.

What other challenges to business-as-usual could we implement to save money and prevent pollution?

This is the kind of thinking that can change our airscape and bring us the year-round clean air we all so desire.

So, THREE CHEERS to Salt lake City for being leader in the fight for cleaner air.

For more information go to: slcgreen.com

Next Page » male depression ssri viagra libido? Viagra Buy snorting viagra health

 

 

 

Contact


Recent Posts

Meta