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Bad air: what else can Utah and Utahns do?

Posted at 6:24 PM, Dec 12, 2017
and last updated 2017-12-12 20:24:08-05

SALT LAKE CITY - According to the EPA's Air Quality Index (AQI) the air along the Wasatch Front has improved gradually since 1980 when the measurements began, but that doesn't change the fact that Utah's biggest metropolitan areas face serious health risks during winter inversions.

Kerry Kelly is an assistant professor of chemical engineering at the University of Utah specializing in air quality issues and she serves on the Utah State Air Quality Board.

"We're looking at adopting best strategies from other places," said Kelly.

Among the strategies suggested by Kelly:

For individuals:
• Avoid wood burning during inversions.
• Choose a car with a high smog rating next time you buy.
• Ride public transportation and carpool.

For businesses and government policymakers in the short to midterm:
• Create standards for small industries like auto body shops, commercial kitchens and other emissions-heavy operations.
• Introduce more stringent zoning standards to make houses and other buildings energy efficient.
• Planned conversion to tier three gasoline.
For businesses and policymakers in the long term:
• Urban planning and development focused on mass transit.
• Investment in public transportation to make commuting a viable option for more people.