By Amanda Smith
I love Utah. My family settled here many years ago, and I’m glad that they decided to call this place home. I spent much of my childhood enjoying Utah’s beautiful natural environment, from skiing in our mountains to camping in the desert. I want to provide my children with those same exceptional experiences.
My opportunity to serve as the director of DEQ has shown me firsthand how clean the environment is in Utah. Despite the inversions our valleys suffer during the winter and summer, our air today is cleaner overall than it was when I was growing up—and so is our land and water. That doesn’t mean our work is done reducing pollution, or that we don’t suffer from the health impacts that can come from exposure to dirty air or polluted waters. I understand what it’s like to have questions about the effects of pollution, because I have them too.
My family and I often sit around the dinner table and talk about the ways our personal choices affect our health and our environment and how we can make better choices day-to-day. I believe our new DEQ blog will be a way for us to sit around the dinner table with you and talk about your questions and concerns.
We’ll try to answer your questions as best we can, and we’ll let you know what we know—or don’t know—about the things that concern you. We’ll introduce you to our scientists and engineers—for whom environmental protection is more than a profession, it’s a passion—and hear what they have to say about the issues that are in the news and on your minds. We hope you will take this opportunity to get to know our DEQ family a little better and find out more about the work we do every day to protect Utah’s air, land and water.
We’re kicking off our DEQ blog with a series of daily entries to celebrate the “12 Days of Earth Day.” Each day, you will get to meet somebody from our staff and hear how they have made earth-friendly actions a part of their everyday lives. Beginning in May, we will have weekly posts covering a variety of environmental issues that are in the news or on your mind. We’ve already started a list of topics for upcoming blog posts:
- DEQ blog
- Water quality threats to our streams and reservoirs
- Summer ozone season
Now, here’s where you come in. We want you to add your ideas to this list.
What would you like us to talk about? Leave your comments, suggestions and feedback in the area below. We will use as many of your ideas as we can, because we figure if you’re concerned about an environmental issue, chances are good that plenty of other people are too.
Thanks for reading. I’m looking forward to our dinner table conversations.
Amanda Smith serves as the executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality.