Utah DEQ News

Water Quality: Walk a Mile in Someone’s Shoes

By Jenny Potter Working for the Division of Water Quality (DWQ) for the last two-and-a-half years as the office manager, I have been fortunate enough to work on several aspects of what we do here, including attending and preparing for board meetings, attending managers’ meetings and retreats, and helping get documents prepared and ready to …

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Radon: Silent Killer Lurks in One Out of Three Utah Homes

By Jan Poulsen, 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. My name is Jan Poulsen, and I am a lung cancer survivor. I want to share my story in the …

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The Best “Airheads” in Utah Work to Solve Utah’s Air Quality Challenges

By Donna Kemp Spangler You don’t have to be an air quality expert to know that Utah’s mountain-and-valley topography creates wintertime inversions and summertime smog. It’s a matter of atmospheric chemistry, meteorology, and source emissions that are a recipe for unhealthy air. As one air scientist is fond of saying, “What goes out your tailpipe …

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Air Quality: The Great Salt Lake Ozone Study

By Seth Arens Air pollution in Utah conjures up images of frosty January mornings, the “brown cloud” over the Wasatch Front, and days or weeks of sunless skies. High temperatures and unhealthy ozone pollution in last half of June 2015 reminded Utah residents that bad air pollution also threatens our health while we enjoy the …

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Utah Attorney General’s Office: Meet the Environment Section

By Craig Anderson, 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. What do attorneys do for the Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ)? What is our role? What are our successes? I …

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Air Quality: Ozone: Health Friend or Foe?

By Steve Packham Most folks know that ozone is an important part of the atmosphere. Those of us old enough to remember the panic around the depletion of the ozone layer remember that this gas plays an important role in shielding the Earth from harmful radiation. So ozone is good, right? Well, yes and no. …

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Clear the Air Challenge: Calling on Reporters to Take the Challenge

By Donna Kemp Spangler and Amy Joi O’Donoghue Last year, I committed to parking my vehicle and taking transit to work each and every day during July’s statewide Clear the Air Challenge, a friendly, month-long competition sponsored by the Salt Lake Chamber of Commerce and embraced by Governor Gary Herbert, who has encouraged all state …

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Clear the Air Challenge: Making Public Transit a Way of Life

By Elisa Smith Each year, the Clear the Air Challenge asks Wasatch Front residents to reduce their vehicle emissions by cutting down on their trips. We spoke with DEQ’s Elisa Smith, a “Top 5” winner of the 2015 winter air quality challenge, to learn how she makes public transit a way of life for herself …

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Clear the Air Challenge: Join the Competition!

By Ryan Evans, 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. The Challenge is on! The Clear the Air Challenge is a month-long initiative that encourages Utah residents to drive less …

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Collaborative Problem-Solving Helps Resolve Environmental Disputes

By Michele Straube, 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. I often start collaboration trainings with a thumb-wrestling exercise — “pin” your opponent’s thumb as often as you can in …

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Drinking Water: Boiling Water Woes

By Kim Dyches Following the recent news coverage about communities boiling their water, water customers may want to know if this contamination could have easily been prevented. The answer is YES. These contamination events were the result of a cross-connection between someone’s pressurized irrigation system and the culinary water line into their home. Contaminated water …

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DEQ: New Director Hits the Ground Running

By Donna Kemp Spangler Amanda Smith has, over the past six years as DEQ executive director, paved the way toward cleaner air, improved transparency, and greater government efficiency. She’s shouldered many of Utah’s most challenging and controversial environmental issues like refinery expansions, oil spill cleanups, and a yet-to-be decided plan on depleted uranium disposal at …

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Water Quality: Keeping Pollutants from Going down the (Storm) Drain

By Harry Campbell You may have noticed a lot of water rushing into storm drains during the heavy rains this past month. This storm water runoff comes from homes, city streets, parking lots, industrial facilities, and construction sites and often contains sediment, fertilizer, pesticides, oil, gasoline, pet waste, or hazardous waste. And because storm water …

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Drinking Water: DEQ Funding Keeps Water Safe to Drink

By Michael Grange Safe, clean drinking water. Something everyone wants, but something that may not happen all on its own. There are times when Mother Nature needs a helping hand. The cities of Magna, Woods Cross, and Gunnison have experienced this firsthand. In each case, the contamination was identified in the drinking water source, and …

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National Energy Foundation: Fostering Student Debate on Utah’s Air Quality

By Janet Hatch, 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. Imagine a distinguished group of external panelists assembled at the Utah State Capitol. Their purpose is to take energy questions …

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