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There's some good news when it comes to Utah's air quality

Posted at 2:37 PM, Feb 20, 2020
and last updated 2020-02-20 16:37:12-05

When it comes to Utah's air quality, there's some good news.

Thom Carter, Executive Director of UCAIR, joined us to talk about it.

He says over the past few years smoke from wood burning has been a focus. Thom reported that wood smoke's contribution to our air pollution has declined by a factor of 5 (from 2007 to 2017). This decline is significant to air quality as smoke from wood burning fireplaces and stoves can be a significant source of the fine PM2.5 particulate matter emissions. Running an EPA-certified woodstove for one hour produces the same amount of PM2.5 emissions as driving a vehicle for 500 to 1000 miles.

It's important to know air quality and follow burning advisories to help ouru air. Switching to natural gas is also a good idea because it emits approximately 150 times less particle pollution than a certified wood stove.

The EPA recently moved Salt Lake metro region from its nonattinment designation for air pollution into compliance. "Moving into compliance is huge news. For 13 years we have been working to have our air quality be in compliance with the federal Clean Air Act. Last year we obtained compliance and that is a huge milestone for every one of us that has been making small changes to improve our air quality," Thom says.

There are things we all can do to make a difference:

○ Don`t idle;50% of our pollution comes directly from our tailpipes. Shutting off your car while you wait. If you`re waiting to pick your kids or friends up likely others are too;and nobody wants to walk through all that polluting exhaust that then travels miles and miles into our air.
○ Skip the Trip;Opt to make dinner at home rather than going out;and pack a lunch tonight to bring to work with you tomorrow.`
○ Take public transit;One day a week rather than driving will save you money on gas and help improve our air.
o Fill up with Tier 3 Fuel. Cleaner burning tier 3 fuel is now available in Utah. UCAIR partners
Chevron, Marathon and Silver Eagle refinery have spent years and millions of dollars to develop Tier 3. The pollution reduction it delivers is the equivalent of taking about four to five cars off the road. It`s available now at 26 Marathon Speedway stations across the state and is expected to be available at Chevron, Texaco, Sinclair and other gas stations the beginning

A new UCAIR website has been launched this year. Visit: UCAIR.org to find out even more things you can do, learn about available reebates for making air quality improvements in your home, submit your air quality story and more.