Utah DEQ News

Mercury Spills What to Do

 By Neil Taylor Editor’s Note: This is the third 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. It’s 2 a.m. and I’m sound asleep in my warm, comfy bed. Suddenly my cell phone rings. I obligingly answer it, “Department …

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Keeping Used Oil From Going Down the Storm Drain

 By Scott Hopkins Editor’s Note: This is the second 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. If you like to do your own maintenance on your car, you’re in luck: Utah has one of the best used-oil collection …

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Testing for Radon Gas Could Save Your Life

 By Eleanor Divver Editor’s Note: This is the first 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. A family moved into their dream home in Salt Lake City 15 years ago and tested their home for radon gas. The …

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DEQ Environmental Services, Works with Industry

 By Donna Kemp Spangler There’s been a lot of talk recently about how the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) regulates emissions from evaporation ponds the oil and gas industry uses to process the contaminated water. In particular: Danish Flats Environmental Services, which operates a facility in a remote area of Grand County, north of …

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Soils Cleanup: New Technology for Old Contamination

 By John Menatti Contaminated soils under a former gas station are heating up—literally. For the first time in Utah, an innovative technology called Electrical Resistance Heating (ERH) is being used to clean up soil and water contaminated by gasoline leaks from underground storage tanks (USTs). DEQ is assisting in this cutting-edge cleanup effort by providing …

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EPA’s Superfund Program

 By Dave Allison It’s always challenging working as a liaison with the public on abandoned hazardous waste sites in Utah through EPA’s Superfund program. Chances are you’ve probably never heard of CERCLA or Superfund until a site is designated within your community and it’s our job to make a very complex process more understandable. The …

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Riding Mass Transit

 By Donna Kemp Spangler As promised in my last month’s blog, I parked my beloved convertible and faithfully took transit to work each and every day. It wasn’t as difficult as I had imagined. It didn’t stop me from meeting deadlines, disrupt my schedule, or slow me down all that much. Forgoing the momentary spontaneity …

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Radiation: Radioactive Materials Accidents

 By Spencer Wickham Let’s face it, accidents happen, and they happen when you least expect it. There are risks associated with almost everything we do. Whether the risks are breaking a bone or two from riding a dirt bike (I know this from personal experience), or getting your foot run over by a forklift in …

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Here’s Some Cash to Reduce Emissions

 By Lisa Burr I work in the Mobile Sources and Transportation Section at the Utah Division of Air Quality (DAQ) and administer a few of the incentive programs the State offers for reducing emissions from vehicles and non-road equipment. Since vehicle emissions are a significant contributor to air pollution, our section gets many inquiries about …

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Air Quality App Puts Air Info at Your Fingertips

 By Philip Harrison Wondering what the air quality is like today? Is it OK to exercise? Should you take transit to work? Thanks to an air quality app developed through a partnership between Weber State University and the Division of Air Quality (DAQ), you need look no further than your smartphone. The new UtahAir app …

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Telecommuting Boosts Productivity & Spares the Air

 By Debbie Parry and Marc Earnhardt Editor’s Note: This is the fourth of a series of posts—published every Wednesday during July—of what DEQ employees are doing to reduce emissions during the 2014 Clear the Air Challenge. It’s Wednesday morning, telecommuting day for me and Marc—both of us are financial officers at DEQ. We avoid the …

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

 By Amy Dickey Summertime in Utah means hiking, biking, barbecues, fireworks and…fishing! Warm summer days mean more folks are out fishing at Utah’s blue-ribbon streams, high-alpine lakes, reservoirs and urban ponds. Many anglers eat what they catch, which is a good thing, since fish provides important vitamins, minerals and Omega-3 fatty acids that people need …

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Why Do I Bike? Clean Air and Exercise — but Mostly It Makes Me Happy

By: Tom Daniels May is Bike Month, and DEQ is celebrating by inviting bloggers to share their thoughts on choosing bicycles as an environmentally friendly form of transportation. It’s 5 a.m. I stumble to the bathroom, run water through my hair, brush my teeth and get dressed: shorts, jersey, gloves, jacket and shoes; shoulder on …

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SUCCESS: X-Ray Inspections

By Rusty Lundberg When you’re sitting in the dental chair, you’re probably more concerned about cavities than the X-rays your dentist uses to detect them. It’s easy to forget that dental and medical X-rays deliver the majority of our exposure to man made radiation. New radiation survey meters used by Division of Radiation Control (DRC) …

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My Own Clear Air Challenge: Riding Transit All Month Long

By Donna Kemp Spangler Editor’s Note: This is the second of a series of posts—published every Wednesday during July—of what DEQ employees are doing to reduce emissions during the 2014 Clear the Air Challenge. When FrontRunner arrived in Ogden in 2008, my goal had been to commute from Ogden to my DEQ office in Salt …

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Water Quality: Holding the line on Nutrient Pollution

By John Mackey So what is it about nutrients in our water that’s such a big deal? The waters I recreate in aren’t green and soupy; in fact, they look pretty good and have plenty of fish. If I opened the tap and my water was cloudy or had a peculiar smell, I would be …

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