Utah DEQ News

Is there a “Phil” in your life?

Air Quality: My Top Ten List for Better Air

By Donna Kemp Spangler Utah’s winter chill is creeping upon us, and with that comes the infamous inversions, that for perhaps 10 terrible days of the year have downright frightful and unhealthy air quality. (And no, Phil, it’s not Smaug, it’s smog. ) We know we can’t completely prevent them. It is partly an act …

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Is there a “Phil” in your life?

May the Odds Be Ever in Your Favor: Test Your Home for Radon Today

By Eleanor Divver You’ve probably heard about radon in the news, or maybe from a friend or neighbor. You may know that radon is a radioactive, cancer-causing gas. You may even know that it is the number-one cause of lung cancer among non-smokers. (You undoubtedly know that NASA didn’t bring it back from the moon, …

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UCAIR Isn’t Blowing Smoke with Its Wood Stove Exchange Program

By Bailey Toolson, Guest Blogger  DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. Our mission at UCAIR is to make it easier for individuals, businesses, and communities to make changes that improve our air. …

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Smog Rating Helps You Choose a Cleaner Car for Cleaner Air

By Ashley Miller, Guest Blogger DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. There were many things that drew me to Utah, but the incredible skiing, beautiful mountains, and incredibly light snow were …

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DEQ Employees Embrace a Culture of Giving and Volunteerism

By Christine Osborne For over 60 years, the State Employee Charitable Fund Drive has provided state employees with the opportunity to contribute to the wide range of local non-profit organizations helping people in our communities. One hundred percent of the donations stay right here in the state! The 2017 drive raised over $350,000 for 60 …

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DEQ’s CAP Bridges the Gap with Small Businesses

By Paul Harding The Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) is committed to working with small businesses to safeguard the quality of our air, land, and water. But we are also committed to helping these businesses understand the environmental regulations that affect their operations, listening to their concerns, and exploring strategies and technologies that can …

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public comments

DEQ: Tips for Making Public Comments Count

By Donna Kemp Spangler I understand people’s frustrations when they take the time to submit a written or verbal public comment on a regulatory proposal and at the end of the process, the final rule or regulation doesn’t seem to reflect their comment. They walk away with a feeling their comment doesn’t really matter. That’s …

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Volkswagen Settlement to Reduce Emissions, Improve Utah Air

By Lisa Burr Efforts to improve Utah’s air quality are getting a big boost thanks to a nationwide $15.7 billion settlement with Volkswagen (VW) for violations of the Clean Air Act. Utah is set to receive approximately $35 million from the settlement to offset nitrogen oxides (NOx) emissions from the approximately 7,000 VW, Audi, and …

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Partnership Ensures Clean Air, Land and Water in the Uinta Basin

By Jared Mendenhall Resourcefulness is as much a part of the frontier ethos as individualism. Coming up with ingenious solutions to life’s problems — on the cheap — is an essential skill in the rural expanses of the American West. Jordan Mathis, health officer and executive director of TriCounty Health Department, understands this. In fact, …

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At DEQ, It’s Always Mission POSSIBLE

By The Fun Committee Our Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) employees don’t just “talk the talk” when it comes to our mission, vision, and values. We live it, individually and collectively, every day. We know that clean air, land, and water are important to the people of Utah, and we take our responsibility to safeguard …

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Ozone: Dog Days of Summer Have Us All Panting For Cleaner Air

By Donna Kemp Spangler Many people have said to me this summer, “It seems like we’ve had a lot of unhealthy air days.” Turns out, it’s true. Utah is experiencing the worst air pollution, particularly ozone, in a decade. Record heat and massive wildfires have taken their toll on Utah’s air. As a result, the …

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Utah Celebrates Ten Years of “Idle-Free”

By Tammie Bostick-Cooper, Guest Blogger September marks the 10th year of the Idle-Free Governor’s Declaration in Utah. Our state had the first Idle-Free campaign in the nation, and it all started in Salt Lake City. Since 2007, more than 50 Utah mayors have signed the declaration. And in 2011, Salt Lake City–where it all began–became …

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ULend Program Helps Oil and Gas Operators Reduce Emissions

By Whitney Oswald The Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) Division of Air Quality (DAQ) believes sound science leads to good decisions and effective regulations. That’s why we conduct research on complex air-quality issues — to identify causes and find solutions. For example, we’ve seen an increase in winter ozone levels in the Uinta Basin in recent years, and …

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“Turn Your Key, Be Idle Free” for Our Kids this School Year

By Vicki Bennett, Guest Blogger DEQ invites guest bloggers to share their thoughts on issues that impact our environment. We appreciate their insights and the opportunity to broaden the conversation with others in the community. The sights and smells of back-to-school are here: new pencils and paper, first-day clothes, and the hint of fall in …

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DWQ's Ben Brown sampling the San Juan River.

A Look Back: On the Scene after the Gold King Mine Spill

By Christine Osborne This week, we take a look back at DEQ’s response to the Gold King Mine release two years ago. On August 5, 2015, EPA contractors were clearing debris from the opening of the Gold King Mine near Silverton, Colorado, when the blockage gave way, releasing three million gallons of acid mine drainage into …

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DEQ Forecasters Keep Their Eyes on the Sky during Ozone Season

By Kimberly Kreykes Like many people, my day starts with the weather forecast. Not just because it is my passion, but because it is my responsibility to stay informed — I am the lead air-quality forecaster for the Utah Department of Environmental Quality’s (DEQ’s) Division of Air Quality (DAQ). Along with two other DAQ forecasters, …

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