Utah DEQ News

Water Quality: Partnership Seeks to Protect Weber River Watershed

By Kari Lundeen What is the Weber River Watershed going to look like in 5, 10, or 50 years? Will we have enough water to support booming growth while still protecting and restoring water quality and fish habitat? These are the kinds of questions I wrestle with as a watershed scientist for the Weber River …

Read More

SUCCESS Framework: DEQ Committed to Continuous Improvement

By Renette Anderson and Scott Baird The scientists and engineers at DEQ are data-driven and naturally curious. They measure air, surface and ground waters, and land impact from pollutants. Ask any one of them about his or her work, and each can quote statistics in orders of magnitude or parts per billion, whichever applies. It’s …

Read More

“Dear Donna:” Here to Answer Your Environmental Questions

By Donna Kemp Spangler As the Communications Director for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, I often get letters from constituents with questions about Utah’s environment. Some questions can be answered easily. Others require technical experts. Some simply don’t fall under DEQ’s regulatory authority. Here’s a sample of some of the more interesting questions, suggestions, …

Read More

Hazardous Waste: Cleaning Up a Legacy of Chemical Waste

By Dave Larsen Can you think of a nice name for huge piles of waste from the demilitarization and testing of chemical agent bombs, projectiles, and other munitions? The U.S. Army likes to call this “legacy waste,” and it includes thousands of munitions that were disposed of on the ground or buried at Army facilities …

Read More

DEQ Web Site and Navigation

By Frank Stehno “I’m on DEQ’s Web site. I can’t find what I need.” In 2013, we had over 3 million page views. Our most visited page, Current Air Conditions, gets over 30,000 views per month. Yet we often hear, “Why can’t you put a link to [fill in almost any topic] on your home …

Read More

Going Electric a Great Green Alternative

By Mat Carlile Utah will be celebrating Alternative Fuel Vehicle Awareness Month in November, making it the perfect time to learn more about electric vehicles (EVs)—and even consider joining the growing number of car buyers who have made the switch to this zero-emission, energy-efficient vehicle option. EVs are becoming more popular,  due in part to …

Read More

Tracking Increases Tank Compliance

By Doug Hansen The SUCCESS framework is Governor Herbert’s initiative to improve performance in state government by increasing operational efficiencies. In August 2014, DEQ logged its first project into the Success Management Information System (SMIS), the reporting tool used by the Office of Management and Budget to track the implementation of SUCCESS projects. DEQ’s project, …

Read More

Water Quality: Sampling Confirms Toxic Bloom

By Hilary Arens If you’ve ever recreated at one of Utah’s lakes or reservoirs during the late summer or early fall, you’ve probably seen areas where greenish scum was floating on the water or collecting on the shore. What you probably didn’t know was that this bright-green water is a sign of an algal bloom. …

Read More

Hybrid Vehicles World

By Donna Kemp Spangler Let’s make one thing perfectly clear: I looooove my convertible. Or I should say I loved it. Yes, I am bidding goodbye to one of my friends. And I am saying hello to a new friend. I have become increasingly aware that my beloved friend was not the most environmentally sensitive …

Read More

Air Quality: Inspectors Ensure Permit Compliance

By Cindy Beem Ever wonder how the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) confirms that a facility is satisfying the requirements of its permit? Each permitted facility has to comply with a very long list of conditions that protect air quality, including the installation of specific pollution-control equipment, compliance with emission levels established in the permit, …

Read More

Asbestos Fibers in Your Home Cause for Caution

 By Leonard Wright Editor’s Note: This is the sixth of a series of posts—during the month of September—focused on simple home improvement tips to help improve your quality of life and the environment. Back in the early 80’s, my favorite tennis player was John McEnroe. I loved his brashness and was entertained by his over-the-top …

Read More

Low-VOC Paint Helps You Breathe Easier

By Joel Karmazyn Editor’s Note: This is the fifth of a series of posts—during the month of September—focused on simple home improvement tips to help improve your quality of life and the environment. Did you notice the “new paint smell” the last time you painted your home? That smell comes from the volatile organic compounds, …

Read More

Home Improvement: Getting the Lead Paint Out

 By Michelle Bethune Editor’s Note: This is the fourth in a series of posts—during the month of September—focused on simple home improvement tips to help improve your quality of life and the environment. A few years ago, I bought an amazing 1918 Craftsman-style home in Seattle. I didn’t think about lead paint, asbestos, or old …

Read More

Pollution Prevention: A Cornerstone of Sustainability

 By Frances Bernards and Paul Harding As environmental scientists with DEQ’s Business Assistance Program (BizHelp), we help businesses realize the environmental and cost-saving benefits of pollution prevention, known as P2. National Pollution Prevention Week, held Sept. 15-21, 2014, celebrates P2, the practice of reducing or eliminating pollution at the source. P2 became America’s official policy …

Read More

Tier 3 Standards Will Help Clean Utah Air

 By Glade Sowards There’s been a lot of buzz in Utah lately about Tier 3—shorthand for the Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA’s) Tier 3 Vehicle Emission and Fuel Standards Program. When a geeky name like Tier 3 becomes a household word that’s used not only by us policy wonks but by Governor Herbert, mayors, legislators, radio …

Read More

DEQ Leads by Example through its Green Team

 By Donna Kemp Spangler You don’t have to look too hard to find a group of employees dedicated to improving the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s overall environmental impact. After all, “protecting and enhancing” Utah’s environment is at the core of what we do here at DEQ. An organization’s Green Team by definition is a …

Read More