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Letter: Utah air quality board represents polluters

Published January 18, 2014 1:01 am

This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2014, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.

I attended my first Utah Division of Air Quality meeting last week out of concern for our dirty air and to support initiatives to clean up air pollution. The meeting was an eye-opener.

I naively thought the DAQ was a government entity similar to the EPA, representing concerns of the people of Utah. I was disturbed to find that this not the case; the DAQ is mainly concerned with trying to fight mandates of the EPA, and is representing our biggest industrial polluters, the oil refineries and copper mine.

In fact the board is made up of representatives of these polluters. In the State Implementation Plan that passed last week, "economic impact" is a factor in the DAQ's decisions. However, the DAQ mission statement makes no mention of economic impact. It states only that the purpose of the DAQ is "to safeguard human health and quality of life by protecting and enhancing the environment."

Are the profits of these industries more important than the health of the people who live here? Let's get a DAQ board that represents the living, breathing people of this beautiful valley rather than one that is only concerned with monetary profits.

Susan Tamowski

Salt Lake City