Utah DEQ News

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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 …

Read More

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