I read “Seen as Nature Lovers’ Paradise, Utah Struggles With Air Quality,” which was written by Dan Frosch for the New York Times in February, 2013. (https://nowcomment.com/documents/264336)
The first part of this article addresses the causes of air pollution in Salt Lake Valley and other polluted parts of Utah. The urban parts of Utah do not necessarily produce more pollution than other similarly urban areas, rather the geography and meteorology trap the pollution in the valleys, leading to much higher concentrations than just about anywhere in the US.
Our bad air quality creates issues, especially health issues. Consequently, health workers are often involved in clean air movements. As one doctor said, air quality can raise blood pressure and lower life expectancy even if outwardly you don’t display symptoms of asthma or other air related conditions.
Several solutions have been proposed for our poor air quality, both at the state and local level. Many of these solutions revolve around transportation in the valley. Former Republican Gov. Herbert focused on the importance of mass transit, energy production emissions, and state vehicles as contributors to the problem and recognized that urban growth within the state was a significant cause. Democrats agree on the causes of transportation, industrial, and state activities. For example, former state Representative Arent proposed a bill to make public transit free January and July, the months with the worst air quality, and for state agencies to develop air quality plans.
All in all, this issue is one that has great importance in Salt Lake Valley and elsewhere in Utah. Solutions, especially ones focused on promoting public transportation to get other vehicles off the road, have been proposed, but none have been implemented yet.