Utah DEQ News

Legislative Session Helps Us All Breathe a Little Easier

By Scott Baird The whirlwind of Utah’s 45 day legislative session is over, the dust has settled,  and we at the Department of Environmental Quality want to thank you for helping this session to be a success. The appropriations and legislation approved in this session will ensure that the Department can continue its ongoing work …

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Water, Water, Everywhere: Is Your Drinking Water Safe after a Flood?

Over the past month, snowpack runoff, wet weather, and warm conditions have led to major flooding in northern Utah. When the Bear River crested in mid-February 2017, Garland City, Tremonton, Bothwell, Thatcher, East Garland Park, Riverside, Fielding, Plymouth, Corinne, Deweyville, Portage, and areas below the Cutler dam were hit with area-wide flooding. Roads and railroad …

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Drinking Water Is a Lifelong Passion for DEQ’s Marie Owens

By Christine Osborne Marie Owens is the new director of the Division of Drinking Water at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. She brings great experience and enthusiasm to DEQ, along with a commitment to continue the legacy of collaboration between regulators, water professionals, and the public to ensure safe and reliable drinking water throughout …

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DEQ: Getting Serious about Improving Utah’s Air

By Donna Kemp Spangler The Utah Department of Environmental Quality is getting serious about improving Utah’s air quality by 2019. Don’t get me wrong, DEQ’s Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has always been serious about improving air quality. Specifically, DAQ works to find reasonable and measurable solutions to bring Utah’s “nonattainment” areas of the state …

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Utah Clean Cities Fuels National Discussion on Clean Transportation

By Tammie Bostick-Cooper, Guest Blogger, Utah Clean Cities DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community.           Each year, the Energy Independence Summit hosts various Clean Cities organizations and …

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How to Make Public Transportation Work for You

By Jared Fry Frontrunner. Photo credit: Flickr Creative Commons vxla My name is Jared Fry, and I commute 100 miles via public transportation every weekday. To be honest, the purpose in sharing my story is to help promote the use of public transportation and help improve air quality in Utah. My wife, Amy, and I …

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EPA Scientists Join Utah DEQ in PM2.5 Study

By Ann Brown and Karen Stewart, Guest Bloggers DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. Winter in Utah brings to mind crystal clear blue skies, snow-capped mountains, and a long ski season. …

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Polluting Wood Stoves Go up in Smoke with Sole-Source Conversion Program

By Joel Karmazyn Most of us take for granted the luxury of heating our homes with natural gas. But did you know that some homeowners within Utah’s PM2.5 nonattainment areas heat their homes solely with wood or coal? Thanks to a $500,000 appropriation from the 2014 Utah State Legislature, the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) …

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DEQ’s Budget Priorities Reflect Our Values

By Scott Baird The 2017 Utah Legislature kicked off its 45-day session last week, marking the start of an exciting and occasionally hectic time for all of us at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ). Although we are neutral players in the legislative process, our directors and scientists are available 24/7 to answer questions, …

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Recess Guidance Protects Kids During Poor Air-Quality Days

By Brittany Guerra, Guest Blogger DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. Winter months in Utah bring snow sports, holiday feasting, and seasonal inversions. As you’ve watched the mountain line slowly disappear …

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Radon Action Week: DEQ Tests Schools for Radon Gas

By: Kristin Armstrong Many of us have heard about the dangers of indoor radon in homes, but what about the risks of radon gas in schools? To combat radon’s harmful effects on school-aged children and to raise public awareness of the issue, the Utah Department of Health has provided funding to the Department of Environmental Quality …

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DEQ: Air Scientists Have Eyes in the Sky for PM2.5

By Donna Kemp SpanglerWant to know more? Want to know more? It doesn’t take a scientist to know Utah has prolonged periods of bad air during the winter. But it does take a team of local and national scientific researchers to understand more fully why we have bad air. For years, the Utah Department of Environmental …

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Employer-Based Trip Reduction Programs Improve Air Quality

By Mat Carlile Last week’s inversion wasn’t the kind of “present” any of us wanted for the holidays. We know that fine particulates caused by the buildup of  pollutants under the inversion’s “lid” create poor air quality and poses a health risk, particularly to the young, elderly, and those with respiratory and heart disease. We …

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DEQ: We Are Guided by Our Values in Everything We Do

By Alan Matheson Successful organizations operate upon bedrock values that define who they are and guide their decisions and actions. These values are aspirational, inspiring high standards and best efforts. They provide clarity by aligning all in the organization toward common objectives. They help members of an organization make consistent and principled decisions. Core values …

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DEQ Makes the Season a Little Brighter with Holiday Charity Drive

Interview with Heather Bobb by Christine Osborne How did the DEQ Holiday Charity Drive get started? Dianne Nielson, Utah Department of Environmental Quality Executive Director for 13 years, began the tradition. About a year after Amanda Smith came on board as executive director, I volunteered to head up the drive. I’ve been doing it for …

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Drinking Water Giant Ken Bousfield Leaves Big Shoes to Fill

By Christine Osborne Ken Bousfield is retiring at the end of this month after more than 40 years of service with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s Division of Drinking Water (DDW) and its predecessor agencies. His career and service to the state, including his 10-year tenure as the division director, epitomize DDW’s mission statement: …

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