Celebrating 25 Years of DEQ

On July 1, 1991, the Utah Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) became a state agency. Since then, DEQ has worked diligently and tirelessly to protect and enhance the environment and safeguard the health and quality of life of the people of Utah.

Created by consolidating five environmental health bureaus housed in the Utah Department of Health, DEQ was the brainchild of former Governor Norm Bangerter. In his 1990 State of the State address, Bangerter declared that “(a) healthy environment is essential to Utah’s future. To be short-sighted in our management of the environment is to shortchange the next generation. In order to highlight the importance of this issue and in the interest of expediting the resolution of the many environmental issues facing the state, I am requesting the creation of a Department of Environmental Quality.”

DEQ plays a key role in protecting and enhancing Utah’s environment through partnerships with local health departments, stakeholders, community leaders, businesses, local and regional governments, legislators, and the public. Cutting-edge scientific research, stakeholder outreach, public engagement, open and transparent communication, balanced rulemaking and decision-making, excellent customer service, and responsiveness to the needs of the public: these are the core principles that guide DEQ and the work it does every day. The poster gallery below provides an overview of DEQ’s work to protect Utah’s air, land, and water over the past 25 years. DEQ salutes its employees, stakeholders, partners, and the people of Utah for working together to make Utah a great place to live, work, and play.