Utah DEQ News

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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