DEQ works to improve, inform residents on poor air quality

Posted at 7:44 PM, Dec 12, 2013
and last updated 2013-12-12 21:44:04-05

SALT LAKE CITY -- It’s inversion season in northern Utah, which means Utah’s Division of Air Quality is hard at work.

“The sun is so low in the sky and the snow cover, which keeps the ground cold you don’t get the movement in the air to flush this stuff out,” said Kent Bott with the Division of Air Quality.

A primary air quality monitoring site for Weber County produces information vital to Utahns everywhere, Bott, an environmental scientist said.

“So we do our best to notify not only the general public but specifically direct our information to those most affected by this sort of thing,” Bott said.

The data gathered at the monitoring site determine how the day will be labeled health wise and what regulations will be put in place. A phone app, Utah Air, provides results from monitoring stations across the state.

Along with the results, the app provides air quality for the current day and the forecast for days ahead.

“The primary mission of the division as well as the Environmental Protection Agency is to protect human health and the environment -- the only way we can do that is to provide the public with the information they need to make decisions about what they want to do indoors or out,” Bott said.

Bad air days are inevitable for those who live in the valleys. Bott said there are ways to reduce the severity by combining car trips and not burning wood.