Air Quality
2020 State of the Environment Report

Utah continues to make significant progress towards understanding and addressing the causes of seasonal air pollution. Increased public awareness and legislative funding for research have provided important support for the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) in its ongoing efforts to reduce pollution, improve air quality, and protect public health.

DAQ works to ensure that the air in Utah meets health and visibility standards established under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA) by:

  • Ensuring the state’s compliance with the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) and visibility standards at its national parks
  • Enacting rules pertaining to air-quality standards
  • Developing plans to meet federal standards when necessary
  • Issuing pre-construction and operating permits to stationary sources
  • Conducting research into Utah’s unique air-quality issues
  • Ensuring compliance with state and federal air-quality rules

“Over the past 10 years, the Utah Division of Air Quality has played a significant role in improving Utah’s air quality by seeking sensible solutions to pollution. Thanks to the hard work of the dedicated staff and scientists at DAQ, Utahns have greater quality of life and opportunities available in the state.”

–Ashley Miller, Executive Director, Breathe Utah

93.4% Annual Major and Minor Source Inspection Compliance Rate.
Emissions by Source Pie Charts. Screen Reader info follows.

Screen Readers: The content of the above pie chart follows.

Emissions by Source

Statewide Sectors

  • Area: 71.15%
  • Non-Road: 6.51%
  • Oil and Gas: 4.32%
  • On-Road: 13.65%
  • Point: 4.29%
  • VOC Refuel: .08%

Wasatch Front Sectors

  • Area: 26.88%
  • Non-Road: 23.86%
  • Oil and Gas: 0%
  • On-Road: 42.7%
  • Point: 6.31%
  • VOC Refuel: .25%

Success Story: EPA Announces Air Quality Milestone in Utah

After a rigorous evaluation of three years of air monitoring data and Utah’s detailed plan to continue to meet federal air quality standards, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced on Nov. 10, 2020 its intent to redesignate the Salt Lake City and Provo “non-attainment” areas to “attainment” for the 2006 24-hour fine particulate matter (PM2.5) National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS) under the Clean Air Act. The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ) Division of Air Quality (DAQ), state and local officials have worked collaboratively for nearly a decade to develop effective plans to reduce emissions and improve Northern Utah air quality.

Over the past two decades, and even more so within the past ten years, Utah has seen significant reductions in statewide air emissions. These reductions have come from industry efforts, government programs, and most importantly, the actions of individual residents.

While the attainment of federal PM2.5 air quality standards is a major milestone, our work isn’t done. The winter inversions that occur after a snowstorm will continue to pose risks to air quality in Northern Utah. Utah will need to continue its air quality improvement efforts to ensure that it continues to meet federal air quality standards.