Air Quality
2021 State of the Environment Report

“HEAL Utah is grateful for The Utah Division of Air Qualities partnership in strategizing and finding paths towards clean air for all Utahns. We value the hard work and data of the staff and scientists at DAQ, which have played a significant role in crafting policy and sparking engagement within communities to address air quality issues.”

Meisei Gonzalez, HEAL Utah. 

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

DAQ responsibilities include:

  • 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

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DAQ major and minor compliance had a 97.4% compliance rate 

Emission Sources

Statewide Sectors:

Row LabelsTotalPercentage
Oil and Gas96,123.894.32%
VOC Refuel1,751.740.08%
Grand Total2,223,821.77100.00%

Wasatch Front Sectors, Biogenics not included:

Row LabelsTotalpercentage
Oil and Gas0.010.00%
VOC Refuel963.280.25%
Grand Total380,465.61100.00%
DAQ major and minor compliance had a 97.4% compliance rate
Wasatch Front Sectors, Biogenics not included

Success Story: Reducing VOC Emissions Through Tank Battery Inspections

This year, using automation and ingenuity, the Division of Air Quality Compliance Branch increased the number of oil field tank battery inspections they are able to complete by 62%. 

A tank battery is a collection of large storage tanks where oil and gas products are stored until they can be shipped off site. Separating and storing these products requires a complex system of equipment including pipes, valves, flanges, and flares that all have the potential to emit Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC emissions) to the atmosphere. 

These VOC emissions are what the inspectors concentrate on during their site visits. During an inspection, an infrared (IR) camera is used to inspect the equipment.  If leaks are detected, the owner/operator is notified and typically responds within 1-2 days to fix the problem. Operators are also required to conduct VOC monitoring on a routine basis, repair any detected leaks and keep records of all  repair work. Inspectors will review these records to ensure monitoring is being conducted and repairs completed. All of this is done to ensure emissions are controlled.

This year, inspectors began documenting inspections using ArcGIS Survey 123 from a tablet or phone while they are in the field. They can attach IR camera videos to the inspection surveys, eliminating the need for a separate inspection memo. This new process means inspectors can spend less time in the office and more time in the field, and has resulted in a significant increase in the number of tank battery partial compliance evaluations (PCEs).