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UDAQ began monitoring PM2.5 in Vernal in December 2006. During the 2006-07 winter season, PM2.5 levels exceeded the new PM2.5 health standard that became effective in December 2006. The PM2.5 levels in Vernal were similar to other areas in northern Utah that experience wintertime inversions. The State of Utah is in the process of identifying areas that are experiencing high PM2.5 levels and identifying potential strategies to improve wintertime air quality in those areas.
Windblown dust (usually PM10 AND TSP) is the most significant particulate matter concern during the summer in the Uinta Basin. There is no evidence to indicate that oil and gas development in the Basin is adversely affecting PM10 levels, and monitoring data at two Ute tribal monitors have shown PM10 levels well below the health standard. However, fugitive dust from construction and drilling activities and from travel on dirt roads may create localized problems.