Utah DEQ News

Water Quality: Storm Water Pollution Affects All of Us

By Rhonda Thiele and Jeanne Riley If you heard the news reports last week about an oily sheen floating in Mill Creek, you probably also heard that it was traced back to a nearby storm drain. Sampling of the area near 3300 South and 700 East in Salt Lake City showed that the sheen came …

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Compliance Program Protects Air Quality

By Jay Morris Did you know that there are over 1,500 stationary emission sources in Utah, along with several hundred federal and state air quality rules and regulations that cover these sources? When I first started performing air quality compliance inspections, I had no idea! Our program, which includes inspections, compliance assistance, and enforcement, protects …

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Couple Share Commitment for Environment

By Donna Spangler Wintertime means lots of fine particulates in the air, the oh-so-dreaded inversions. But it’s also February, and that means something else is in the air – love. Just ask Deborah McMurtrie, part of the Division of Air Quality’s Technical Analysis section, where her group collects and manages emissions information in a database …

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GRAMA Increases Government Transparency

By Jenny Potter Have you ever tried to look for a government record but not been sure where or how to find it? Utah’s Government Records Access and Management Act (GRAMA), enacted in 1991, gives you the ability to review or make copies of public records. The law improves government transparency by making it easier …

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Results-Driven Budgeting Good for the Environment, Taxpayers

By Craig Silotti It’s Base Budget Week, the time period set aside each session for lawmakers to meet with state agencies to accept or modify their base budgets. On February 2nd, it’s our turn. DEQ leadership will be meeting with the Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environmental Quality (NRAE) Appropriations Subcommittee where we will: Discuss our …

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Let the 2015 Legislative Session Begin

By Brad T. Johnson and Scott Baird Today marks the start of the 2015 Utah Legislature—the 45 days when Utah’s 75 representatives and 29 senators converge on the State Capitol to enact new state laws. It’s a busy time for all involved. But it’s also an exciting time for those of us at the Department …

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Radon: What You Can’t See Can Hurt You

By Eleanor Divver In my job, I hear a lot of stories about families who have suffered terrible personal losses because they were unknowingly exposed to radon gas in their homes. Some of these stories, like the one below, just break my heart. A family moved to Salt Lake City eighteen years ago. The company …

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Air Quality: Confessions of an Ex-Wood Burner

By Donna Spangler I’ll admit there was a time when I enjoyed curling up on my comfy couch with a crackling blaze burning in our wood-burning stove. That was 10 years ago, when my husband and I bought a historic house that featured a family room with a wood-burning stove. We enjoyed the evenings we …

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X-ray Inspections Ensure Patient Safety

By Lisa Mechem Most of us don’t give it a second thought when we get an x -ray at the dentist’s office because we correctly assume that the equipment our doctors and dentists use has been tested for safety. We can rest easy because the radiation scientists at the Division of Radiation Control (DRC) regularly …

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Air Quality: Legislative Funding Helps Researchers Tackle Air Quality Problems

By Payden McRoberts One million dollars. That sounds like a lot of money, right? Well, it is.The 2014 Legislature’s appropriation of $1 million to the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) for research projects is an important step towards finding solutions for Utah’s complex air quality problems. After vetting a number of proposals last fall, DEQ …

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Success Framework: Agency Efficiency Is Good for Utah’s Environment

By Amanda Smith Last year, Governor Herbert launched his SUCCESS Framework, a set of management principles designed to improve quality and efficiency in government. We embraced these principles at DEQ, and over the past year we have implemented process improvements that have increased both our efficiency and our effectiveness. At DEQ, we define success as …

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Water Cycle: From Cloud to Tap

By Kim Dyches It’s easy to take our drinking water for granted—we turn on our tap and just like that, we have clean water. In fact, Americans drink more than 1 billion glasses of tap water a day! But strict regulations to protect the quality of that drinking water are a relatively recent development. That’s …

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Make It a “Reduce, Reuse, Recycle” Holiday

By Deborah Ng The holidays are a season for giving. So why not give something that helps the environment at the same time? Here at the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control, we teach about the 3R’s: Reduce, Reuse, and Recycle. Careful consideration during the purchase of gifts will reduce the amount of useless …

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Protecting Utah’s Environment One Step at a Time

By Donna Kemp Spangler Protecting Utah’s environment for the better usually happens incrementally. But change is happening, and it is happening faster than ever before, thanks to a Utah public that has become more engaged, a Utah Legislature that has prioritized funding to make it happen, and the dedicated employees at the Department of Environmental …

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Drinking Water: Division Helps Water Systems Uncover Energy Cost Savings

By Frances Bernards The “water-energy nexus” has been getting a lot of press lately—the nexus being the relationship between how much water is used to generate and transmit energy and how much energy it takes to deliver water to homes, businesses, and industry. While awareness has been growing about the amount of water needed to …

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Air Quality: Where there’s Smoke, there’s Pollution

By Bo Call A cold winter night, a fire burning in the fireplace—what could be better? Well, that wood fire isn’t just filling your house with holiday cheer; it’s also filling it with pollutants that can hurt you. Most people don’t realize that the inviting smell of wood smoke comes along with some pretty hazardous …

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