By McKinley Ball
For many of us, Thanksgiving is a time to give thanks. At the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ), many of us here believe Utah is the best state in the country. There are many reasons. Some believe Utah has the greatest scenery and recreation (Utah’s motto, after all is ‘Greatest Snow on Earth’). But we also find Utahns are friendly, industrious, and community-minded. People travel from all around the world to visit Utah. That gives us pride. And we work hard to ensure we have clean air, water and land for a healthy and prosperous Utah. We get to serve the state by preserving its beautiful landscape for the recreation and pleasure of generations to come.
Why are DEQ employees grateful to live in Utah? There are many different reasons.
DEQ employees enjoy serving the people of Utah.
My father, Tom Ball, who works with the Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control (WMRC) says he is thankful for this reason: “Because of the great people who live here. They’re grateful, helpful and friendly to one another.” Don Verbica of WMRC has a similar feeling when he said, “The people are great. I also like the scenery, beautiful mountains and plenty to do.”
In addition to the great people, Utah is great for many unique reasons.
For Division of Water Quality (DWQ) Lenora Sullivan it’s because, “the traffic is more manageable than in other places.” DWQ’s Jerry Rogers is grateful for, “The mountains and better weather than Wyoming, including less wind and blizzards.”
Division of Air Quality (DAQ) Michael Allen believes there’s something else unique about Utah that makes him grateful to live here. “This is a weird state with a unique history, and we are dealing with a special chapter of our history right now where we are faced with incredible growth. I’m happy to be a part of that.”
Possibly the most popular reason people are grateful for living in Utah revolves around outdoor recreation, and DEQ employees are no different.
DAQ’s, Becky Close is grateful to live in Utah for, “Accessibility to outdoor recreation. Hiking, mountain biking and skiing are so close to where we live.” In the Division of Drinking Water (DDW) Michael Grange is also grateful for the great access to outdoor activities. With so many different recreation options, Division of Environmental Response and Remediation’s (DERR) Morgan Atkinson is grateful for, “everything we can do here as far as the outdoors. This is a great place to live.”
Other DEQ employees are grateful for the opportunities found in Utah.
DEQ’s Deputy Director Kim Shelley says, “I am grateful to live in Utah because of the opportunities for education and recreation Salt Lake City provides for my family that can’t be beat and neither can the mole at Red Iguana.” Mike Pecorelli, of Division of Environmental Response and Remediation (DERR) is grateful for, “The diversity between people and the outdoors. You can be in the mountains and then the desert one hour later.”
Living in Utah is unlike living anywhere else. At DEQ we are grateful to be living in Utah with amazing people, beautiful scenery and phenomenal recreation everywhere you look. Why are you grateful to live in Utah?
I am currently interning with the Department of Environmental Quality while attending my final semester at Weber State University. I will be graduating in December 2019 with a bachelor’s degree in communication. When I am not working or doing homework, I am playing sports or watching movies with my wife.