Our View: Addressing Utah's air quality

Friday , October 18, 2013 - 10:49 AM

Editorial Board, Standard-Examiner

We applaud the formation of a 38-person Utah Clean Air Action Team to address important air quality issues that affect our state.

The CAAT will have the responsibility of addressing air quality issues and recommending regulatory and legislative proposals to remedy the less-than-satisfactory air quality in the state.

The CAAT team is well diversified. It is comprised of three mayors, a wide variety of experts, including state officials and five Utah legislators, including Davis County’s respected state Sen. Stuart Adams, R-Layton.

Tasked with a leadership role with the group is Envision Utah, which will bring members together as CAAT reaches recommendations for air quality.

The group appears to be fairly represented, without extremists on both sides of the issue. Utah needs to continue to improve its air quality. As Gov. Gary Herbert noted, between 2002 and 2008 the state had a significant reduction in air pollutants. But the state needs to meet federal guidelines for clean air at a much higher rate than the current 95 percent compliance. Bad air makes too many of us sick; it can be a deadly consequence for the most vulnerable — the elderly, very young and already ill.

We look forward to the work and recommendations from CAAT and hope that it’s heeded by those in charge. It’s a no-brainer that we can improve air quality in our state.

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