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PM Brief: Clearing big game corridors & Northern Utah falls short on ozone standards

inversion over salt lake valley.
Flickr Creative Commons
The Environmental Protection Agency says the Northern Wasatch Front has failed to meet air quality standards for ozone under the Clean Air Act. That story and more in this evening's news brief.

Tuesday, April 12, 2022

Southern Utah

Kanab development could include affordable housing

Plans are moving forward to develop 101 acres of Utah School and Institutional Trust Lands in Kanab. They include a hotel, vacation rentals and single family homes. Like most of the state, Kanab struggles with affordable housing, and some residents are concerned about how the new development will impact the area. Devin Anderson, a partner at Mountain West Development, said including affordable housing units wasn’t part of their original plan, but he said they’re considering the needs of the city. The proposed development is expected to generate $15.7 million for the state. A spokesperson for SITLA said they expect to go forward with the original proposal but are willing to work with the developer and the city to include affordable housing. Read the full storyLexi Peery, Southern Utah Bureau

Northern Utah

Affordable housing for Vail employees

Hundreds of employees at Park City Mountain ski resort will soon have access to affordable housing. Vail Resorts announced Tuesday that it will enter into a long-term lease with the new Canyons Village Employee Housing Development to provide affordable housing to workers starting in the 2022-23 ski season. Housing has become a struggle for workers living in expensive resort towns, and Vail Resorts said in a statement that addressing housing must be a top priority. The company also announced three other investments in affordable housing in Colorado, Canada and Vermont. — Caroline Ballard

Governor makes appointments to Inland Port board

Gov. Spencer Cox has made his two appointments to the Utah Inland Port Authority board. Theresa Foxley and Dan Hemmert will serve on the board that oversees development at the proposed dry port in Northwest Salt Lake County. In the 2022 Legislative session, lawmakers removed Salt Lake City, Salt Lake County, West Valley City and Magna from their seats on the board and gave the governor the power to name appointments with business experience. Hemmert is the executive director of the Governor’s Office of Economic Opportunity and Foxley is president and CEO of the Economic Development Corporation of Utah. — Caroline Ballard

Failing to meet EPA standards

The Environmental Protection Agency says the Northern Wasatch Front has failed to meet air quality standards for ozone under the Clean Air Act. So, the agency wants to downgrade its nonattainment status from “marginal” to “moderate.” Ozone is formed when pollutants from cars and other industries react with sunlight and create smog. The EPA is proposing to give Utah an extension for it to come into compliance with Clean Air Act Standards. — Caroline Ballard


Clearing the way for big game migration

The migration routes of elk, deer and other big-game have been disturbed by growth in the West. A new report from the U.S. Geological Survey includes maps of 65 migration routes that dip into states including Utah, Idaho and Nevada. Matthew Kauffman is a wildlife biologist and the lead author. He hopes the maps help pinpoint barriers like highways. He said eliminating these barriers will allow herds to migrate again and help prevent population decline. This report coincides with $9.5 million in federal grants and contributions to conserve wildlife corridors and habitat connectivity. — Emma Gibson, Mountain West News Bureau

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