Utah DEQ News

Air Quality: My Top Ten List for Better Air

By Donna Kemp Spangler (Originally Posted October 21, 2015) Utah’s winter chill is creeping upon us, and with that comes the infamous inversions, that for perhaps 10 terrible days of the year have downright frightful and unhealthy air quality. We know we can’t completely prevent them. It is partly an act of nature. Under the …

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Spills: Welcome to the Big Leagues, Rookie

By Kevin Okleberry It was on a bright Monday morning, July 11, 2016, when I walked into the Multi-Agency State Office Building in west Salt Lake City to begin my new job as the Spills Coordinator for the Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) Division of Water Quality (DWQ). I was a bit nervous, but also …

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Chromium-6 in Utah Drinking Water Triggers Questions, Concerns

By Ken Bousfield Recent news reports about the presence of hexavalent chromium (chromium-6) in the drinking water in several northern Utah counties have raised concerns among residents about the safety of the state’s drinking water. Fortunately, the levels found in the Davis, Weber, and Box Elder County drinking-water systems are below the California state standard, …

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DEQ Leadership Team Wants You to “Ask DEQ, not Phil”

By DEQ Communications Office The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) provides employees with leadership training to support their career development. Each year, division directors nominate one employee from their division to participate in the two-year course. In addition to formal training, independent study, reading, field trips, and class interaction, each leadership team develops a …

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Air Quality STEPPs up Efforts to Locate Leaks

by Whitney Oswald Imagine trying to find “invisible” leaks in an oil and gas storage tank. Then try finding these leaks in hundreds of storage tanks scattered across a large, remote area. You know the culprit, and you know these leaks are a significant source of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from oil and gas …

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Idling Gets Us Nowhere Fast!

by Tammie Bostick Cooper, 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. Ten years ago, my niece came to my mountain home and announced her class was campaigning to stop the …

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DEQ’s Legacy of Clean Air, Land & Water

by Dianne R. Nielson, Ph.D. 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. “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world; indeed, it’s the only thing that …

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Ask DEQ, not Phil.

By:  Amy Christensen Two years ago, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) had some very astute hunches that were confirmed by comprehensive state-wide research. Of the over 600 Utah households surveyed, only three percent could name DEQ as an environmental entity, and even less knew anything about what we do. By finding a way to …

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DEQ Turns 25: Getting Better with Age

By Donna Kemp Spangler Thirty years ago, becoming an environmental protector wasn’t exactly a common career choice. But many of Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) top watchdogs first found their niche in the 1980’s, and protecting Utah’s environment has been a passion ever since. Because of their efforts, Utah’s environment is better today than …

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Mercury in Fish: When Catch and Release Is Good for You, Too

By Amy Dickey Editor’s Note: The recent release of metals-laden sediment from Tibble Fork Reservoir has raised concerns among anglers about heavy-metals contamination in fish in the American Fork River. The Division of Wildlife Resources (DWR) is currently collecting live fish downstream from the reservoir and will be testing them for the presence of metals …

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Walking (Biking) the Talk: DEQ Adds eBikes to Its Fleet

By Christine Osborne The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has consistently demonstrated its commitment to reducing air pollution by encouraging employee vanpools, issuing free Eco-Pass annual transit passes to all employees, and providing lockers and changing rooms for bike commuters. We brought hybrid cars, then electric vehicles, into our fleet. And now we’re ready …

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Predicting Harmful Algal Blooms through New Technologies

By Ben Holcomb Harmful algal blooms have been in the news a lot lately, from the massive scums lining the Florida coast to the blue-green mats that covered Utah Lake and forced its closure. Predicting when these blooms will occur is one of the greatest challenges we face at the Division of Water Quality (DWQ). …

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Harmful Algal Bloom or Green Ooze? Call DEQ

By Donna Kemp Spangler It was like a scene from Ghostbusters: a mysterious green ooze was bubbling up from a street drain in a Bluffdale neighborhood on July 21, prompting a social media frenzy that it was somehow connected to the harmful algal bloom that had engulfed Utah Lake and spread throughout the Jordan River …

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Electric Lawn-Care Equipment Helps Utah Company Go Green

By Bailey Toolson, 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. As part of the annual Clear the Air Challenge, the Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) and the Department of Environmental …

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