By DEQ Communications Office
This week, DEQ releases its annual State of the Environment Report. This end-of-year report provides a comprehensive look at agency activities and initiatives in 2019 that improved Utah’s environment and quality of life and created new economic opportunities.
“Our employees work tirelessly to accomplish our mission — safeguarding the state’s air, land, and water through balanced regulation,” said Scott Baird, executive director at DEQ. “This year’s report demonstrates how DEQ’s initiatives have increased efficiencies, saved taxpayer dollars, and made significant improvements to the environment and our quality of life.”
Highlights of this year’s report include:
- The Environmental Protection Agency issued a Clean Data Determination for the Salt Lake and Provo nonattainment areas. The Wasatch Front now meets the federal standard for PM 2.5 pollution.
- The Division of Water Quality and Utah Department of Agriculture and Food partnered to allow DWQ to “buy down” the principal interest rate of half of the Agricultural Resource Development Loans, effectively making them zero-interest loans.
- Improved communication, streamlined processes, and consistent follow-up by the Division of Drinking Water yielded impressive results: 300,000 more residents are now served by approved drinking water systems.
- The Division of Waste Management and Radiation Control worked with the owners of a 100-year-old foundry to develop a plan to address site contamination and bring the property back to beneficial use.
- A real-estate developer who was interested in acquiring the site of the old Mayflower Mine in Park City worked with the Division of Environmental Response and Remediation to secure an Enforceable Written Assurance and clean up the property through the Voluntary Cleanup Program.