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DEQ Shares: Tips to Cut Summer Pollution

By DEQ Communications Office

The summer heat is underway, resulting in fun trips across the state and finding new ways to stay cool. However, just because vacation time is here doesn’t mean that harmful pollutants take a break from disrupting Utah’s environment.

There’s no shortage of ideas or ways to contribute to the reduction of pollution here in Utah. It doesn’t necessarily need to come from top-of-the-line electric cars or 100 percent zero waste lifestyle living. Little swaps in daily lives add up and can produce positive results.

Here at the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), we strive to do as we say in our everyday lives. Below are some helpful tips and advice from our fellow DEQ employees on how they stay environmentally conscious this summer.


Ken Symons

Ken Symons
Division of Air Quality

“One tip is to gas up your car in the evening when it’s cooler and the sun is lower in the sky. Doing this reduces the reaction of VOCs (Volatile Organic Compounds) in the gasoline fumes when the sun’s rays are weaker. There is less chance that VOC’s will react with intense sunlight to form ozone.”


Lisa Burr
Division of Air Quality

“I recommend working flexible work days. I do it and end up driving less and have longer weekends. I like knowing that I’m helping with air quality while having more of a balance of work and personal life.”


Chris Shope

Chris Shope
Division of Water Quality

“I recommended biking to work. I do it, usually due to the fact that my van is parked in front of my car, but I like it. It’s a great way to get some exercise and help out with air quality.”


Dr. Kate Fickas

Dr. Kate Fickas
Division of Water Quality

“I have a xeric garden, which requires low-water maintenance. This helps reduce runoff that may occur from my lawn and the pollutants from the fertilizer.”


Luke Treutel

Luke Treutel
Division of Drinking Water

“When I’m running errands, I like to combine my trips together so that I get the most out of each cold start. Along with that, I like to walk more in place of driving.”


Tom Ball

Tom Ball
Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control

“Honestly, one of the main things I do is take transit to and from work. It’s fairly easy and it helps reduce pollution here in our state.”


Sean Warner

Sean Warner
Division of Environmental Response and Remediation

“I need my tree time and the smell of pine trees, so I tun off my AC and head up to the mountain where it’s about 10 degrees cooler.”


Katie Crane

Katie Crane
Division of Environmental Response and Remediation

Carpooling is a big one. My family is conscious of that. Whenever we go places, if we can, we take one car. It’s great.”