UPDATE: We have an action Item. Let's do something about our air!
The announcement from Utah's Healthy Environment Alliance of Utah - HEAL
Utahns, are you aware that industry is fouling our air and that the Governor and Legislature are blaming you instead? Are you aware we, the citizens, are a test case?
I highly recommend reading the comments below. Residents of Salt Lake have provided some great information and insight.
From conservative KSL news, no less. This is the actual title of this recent KSL news article, not mine.
Utah has been an important test case in determining the awful effects of poor air quality and research from Brigham Young University which studied Utah's air was key in developing national pollution standards in the US. But Utah's air isn't getting any better.Sure, we are all pleased as punch to pitch in and breathe the filthy air. We'll let you know how we're doing, K? Well, actually lots of people are doing really poorly:
The in-depth story can be found here:
As you read the following and are tempted to think it's the inversion problem, consider this. Yes, we suffer from inversions and that was known from day one. Wouldn't you think that responsible development would have followed? Not only did that not happen, it's almost as if Utah worked hard to make sure the air quality would be doomed to be toxic forever.
Governor Herbert gave our poor air quality a lot of thought. Herbert concluded and recommends that it's our fault and we, the people, need to cut back.
Ok Gov, we'll cut back on driving, we'll use less heat/air conditioning, and end fireplace use even though public transportation is poor/expensive, there are almost no school buses to transport our kids to and from school, and its freezing in winter and like living underneath a blow dryer set on HIGH during the summer.
According to Governor Herbert, industry is doing a great job and no room there improvements.
Ahem, Governor. Here's a pesky fact: The transportation and industrial sectors lead State energy demand. Some days it seems there are more trucks than cars on our roads, truly.
Herbert's dirty air solution, US, asks US to ALSO believe that our now-nationally-famous poor air quality has nothing to do with the fact that most of our energy comes from dirty coal, and/or the five, large Oil Refineries* on the north border of Salt Lake County, and/or the open-pit Copper Mine on the west border, and/or this 4 square mile sand pit on the South Border of Salt Lake County.. Btw, the almost constant wind from the south gently tosses the sand pit dust over the entire Salt Lake valley as it is poured into the line of huge diesel trucks lined up 24/7 to transport the booty around the state.
Here's another Picture of Sand Pit which measures 4 square miles. In the last few years huge, new housing developments were built adjacent to this pit. BYU might want add this development to their study by checking in with these families to see what the impact is on their health:
Utah refineries have to get busier.
The new 400-mile pipeline is scheduled for completion by the end of 2010 and would connect Salt Lake City refineries to the southern Utah area on its way to southern Nevada.Crazy, right. With most of the state uninhabited, the refineries have to be located and pollute the most densely populated area in the state. Mind freaking boggling.
And these refineries have dismal records. Safety records show hundreds of violations at Utah refineries
*Holly Refinery applied for permit to double its capacity. Yes, the exploding Holly Refinery.
This week, there was a Public Meeting Held To Discuss Holly Refinery Expansion
Herbert and the Utah Legislature don't give a crap about air quality.
HOW CAN SALT LAKE ATTRACT NEW BUSINESS IF THE AIR CAN KILL YOU?
While we are looking at air quality, it should be mentioned that the Governor and Legislature, along with BLM also seem hell bent on destroying Utah's water, possibly including the Colorado River. Why not! We need more gas and oil!
First up, the area of Salt Lake County I live in is drinking water from a huge aquifer into which Kennecot Mining waste water has been dumped for 150 years. Yum. I don't even cook with this water. The solids exceed 800 ppl or whatever the measurement is. I tested it. The arsenic is within EPA standards. Well, that's a comfort.
The following are some news items about what's happening in Utah to destroy our air and water.
Much of the tar sand and oil/gas wells are near the Green River which flows into the Colorado River, neither of which seem to concern the State, the FEDs, or the developers. BLM will likely allow Tar Sand extraction on 830,000 acres!
In 2010, the NYTimes reported Air Quality Concerns May Dictate Uintah Basin's Natural Gas Drilling Future
Undeterred by the toxic air in Uinta Basin
In short, Utah air is doomed unless some miracles take place. Utah's water and maybe the Colorado River are doomed, unless miracles take place.
Short term profits and short term energy fixes will destroy so much in Utah and elsewhere.
Utah and the US are becoming the new Africa. Our resources will be stripped, depleted, and we will be left trying to survive.
It was so avoidable. Can Utah's air be cleaned up?