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DAQ to Release Draft Air Plan September 11th

winter air inversion
Erik Crossman - University of Utah

  The state of Utah missed a deadline last December for submitting a plan to federal authorities to reduce air pollution on the Wasatch Front.  But the public will get a look at a new draft plan in a couple of weeks.

The Utah Division of Air Quality will release its draft State Implementation Plan on September 11th, detailing how the state intends to meet new clean air standards set by the federal Environmental Protection Agency.  Division Director Bryce Bird says it includes new limits on industrial polluters and settlements worked out with the Tesoro and Big West oil refineries.

Bird tells KUER, “We’ve actually been involved in those negotiations over the past two years with each of those companies, and so those have already been incorporated into our planning, or kinda, the future reductions we’re expecting from the refineries in the state implementation plan.”

Reductions in emissions from so-called ‘area sources,’ like bakeries and auto body shops, are also part of the plan.  And it counts on newer cars and cleaner gasoline to reduce pollution from vehicles.

Bird says the plan doesn’t account for voluntary efforts to reduce pollution through programs such as UCAIR or U-DOT’s Travelwise.

Bird says, “That’s kinda beyond the quantifiable, enforceable portions of the SIP, but it’s certainly not going to be ignored kinda based on our overall air quality strategy moving forward.”

Once the draft is released, there will be a 30-day public comment period.  The state air quality board is expected to adopt the plan in December.

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