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Health, Science & Environment

State Will Blow EPA Deadline For Winter Pollution Cleanup Plan

Utah’s air quality regulators say they’re still working on a comprehensive plan to clean up winter pollution, but they probably won’t get it done until weeks or even months after it’s due to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.

Computer models have yet to show that the state has a successful strategy for reducing the number of winter days when people in northern Utah get stuck breathing unhealthy air. That’s in spite of more than two dozen laws state regulators have implemented since 2009.

“We’ve put in every strategy that we can identify as being available,” says Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality. “We identified every source of air pollution that is a precursor, and we’ve incorporated every regulation that has been put in place anywhere else in the country.”

Bird’s staff told the Utah Air Quality Board Wednesday that they don’t have the data they need to deliver an acceptable plan to the EPA by its December deadline.

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