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Measure pushing environmental, air issues at new prison site is a nonstarter

First Published      Last Updated Feb 22 2017 12:49 pm

A bill attempting to keep the public informed about air quality issues and environmental impact mitigation efforts at the site of the new Utah State Prison in northwest Salt Lake City could not get out of the starting gate Tuesday.

Sponsoring Sen. Luz Escamilla, D-Salt Lake City, said the sole purpose of SB217 was transparency to help the community keep abreast of construction activities that some have worried could cause environmental and/or health problems as the long-dried bed of the old Great Salt Lake bed is disturbed and massive amounts of fill material are brought in.

"We're asking the Division of Air Quality (DAQ) to report on our air monitoring activities," Escamilla said. "The idea is that the communities are aware of what's happening."



SB217 would have required the DAQ to report on air quality monitoring activities in the vicinity of the new prison, required the Department of Administrative Services to provide information about impact mitigation efforts on its website and required the Prison Development Commission to host presentation of environmental mitigation efforts at its meetings.

Sen. Margaret Dayton, R-Orem, chairwoman of the committee hearing the bill opposed it as "restrictive and redundant," offering that the relevant information would likely be made public without the requirements.

SB217 was then held in committee without a formal up or down vote.

 

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