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Health, Science & Environment

Air Quality Board Adds Industrial Regulations

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Dan Bammes
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The Utah Air Quality Board hears public comment on a supplement to the state implementation plan for controlling industrial air pollution.

  The Utah Air Quality Board voted yesterday to add a supplement to the plan for controlling pollution from industrial sources.  Bryce Bird, the director of the Division of Air Quality, says it will help industry get going to comply with new state requirements.

“We’ve already identified the level of reduction that we can attain by requiring new controls on existing facilities," Bird told KUER in an interview.  "So what this plan does is puts those on the books today and then puts those large industrial sources on a schedule to install new equipment to reduce their emissions.”

Before the vote, the board’s meeting room was packed with activists demanding stricter controls for industry.  Joro Walker spoke for several groups, asking why some industries only have to show reductions over a year’s time instead of on the days when pollution is at its worst.

Walker asked the board, “How can emission limits that are averaged over seven days or 365 days show compliance with a 24-hour standard?  That’s like trying to make sure that people slow down in a school zone by averaging their speed over the course of a week or over the course of 365 days.  It doesn’t work.” 

The federal Environmental Protection Agency has to approve the state implementation plan and this supplement.  It’s issued 64 pages of comments and questions.  Bryce Bird says his agency is already working with the E-P-A to answer those questions, and they hope to have all the issues worked out by September.

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