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Legislature seeks road map for air quality policy

Posted: 10:06 AM, Jan 07, 2020
Updated: 2020-01-07 15:27:31-05
Legislature seeks road map for air quality policy

SALT LAKE CITY – The Utah Legislature is preparing policies dealing with air quality.

To assist in this effort, the Kem C. Gardner Policy Institute with the University of Utah prepared a road map for the effort.

The result is called the Utah Roadmap.

Technical experts participated in preparing the Utah Roadmap. The policy institute received input from various governmental and health care groups.

Green energy

The roadmap advocates for greener vehicles for governmental and personal use.

State government should convert to using cleaner-fuel fleets, the policy institute says.

Residents should have greater access to electric charging stations in the state, according to the roadmap.

The institute emphasized that economic assistance should be offered to rural communities in making the transition to greener energy.

Environmental pioneers

The policy institute recommends Utah lead the national conversation on reducing emissions.

The air emissions goal for Utah is less than a third of 2011 levels and less than half of the current output.

The carbon dioxide emissions would be cut from about 60 million metric tons to just more than 10 million metric tons, under the goals set in the roadmap.

This decrease in carbon dioxide emissions would occur at the same time that the state population is estimated to grow from 3.1 million to 5 million residents.

Under the plan, the carbon dioxide emissions would be cut the most dramatically within the electric power sector.

Unhealthy air quality

Air emissions and pollutants effect, but not limited to, asthma, respiratory disease, decreased lung function, diabetes, high blood pressure, and heart disease.

Many of the effects of these pollutants on health have been the subject of Utah-based studies.

The Gardner Institute is accepting feedback on this major undertaking. Respondents can send an email to utahroadmap@utah.edu.