UTAH CLEAN AIR ADVOCATES HOLD PRESS CONFERENCE ON BILLS THAT MAY HAMPER THE ADOPTION OF FUTURE CLEAN AIR POLICIES
Groups call on Governor Herbert to veto HB 11 and HB 65
(February 27, 2017 – Salt Lake City, UT) – Clean air advocates called on Governor Herbert today to veto HB 11 and HB 65 that have passed the Utah State Legislature at a press conference held at the Utah State Capitol. HEAL Utah, Utah Moms for Clean Air and Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment (UPHE) expressed their strong concern over the implications of these bills on our environment, and especially air quality.
HB 11 on State Boards and Commission Amendments sponsored by Rep. Norman Thurston and Sen. Margaret Dayton removes the political diversity requirement for 29 boards and commissions including the Air Quality Board, the Water Quality Board and the Public Service Commission.
“The boards that make critical decisions about health, the environment and utilities must fully represent all Utahns,” says Michael Shea, HEAL’s senior policy associate. “We urge Gov. Herbert to veto this bill to ensure that we aren’t allowing these key bodies to become partisan tools of a single party.”
HB 65 Air Conservation Act Amendments sponsored by Rep. Mike Schultz and Sen. Stuart Adams requires the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to allow the burning of solid fuel to cook food for both commercial and non-commercial purposes.
“The amendment proposed by HB 65 is so broad that it will prevent the DAQ from regulating solid fuel devices that cook food in the future especially when air quality is bad,” says Denni Cawley, Executive Director for Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “More and more businesses and individuals are going with the fad of wood-smoked food. Unfortunately, they do not realize the significant health impacts of wood smoke which is carcinogenic, contains dangerous chemicals and affects those in the immediate vicinity to a greater extent.”
“Utah Moms for Clean Air is disappointed that the Utah Legislature is yet again passing legislation that is pro-pollution,” says their founder, Cherise Udell. “HB 65 Air Conservation Act Amendments is an oxymoron. There is nothing in this bill that “conserves” air quality. In fact, this bill is quite the opposite – it limits the DAQ from actually doing their job to implement the best clean air policies that protect Utah families. Let’s be clear HB 65 is a pro-pollution bill. Period. Our children depend on the grown-ups in the room – especially our elected officials who have taken an oath to protect the citizens of Utah – to support legislation that is life-giving and not life-taking.”