Amanda Smith's explanation of the proposed legislation to revise the membership of the five boards in the Department of Environmental Quality raises questions ("Thoughtful look at environmental boards," Opinion, Nov. 27).
As a former member of the Air Quality Board and a retired DEQ employee in the Division of Air Quality, I have concerns regarding the Air Quality Board.
Reforms are certainly needed, particularly with conflicts of interest and attendance by board members.
It's no surprise that the 12-member committee, assembled to review board functions, recommended that an environmental lawyer be added to the board since the review committee included at least six attorneys who represent clients that emit air pollutants.
The board is already advised by the attorney general's staff regarding legal but not policy issues.
What the Air Quality Board needs is a medical doctor with expertise in air quality. When the board had one, he was invaluable. An environmental representative is also needed.
The draft legislation calls for a representative of a "non-governmental organization," but does not define that term. It could mean anything from the Farm Bureau to the Utah Manufacturer's Association.
Contact your state legislators now, before the session begins, while they have time to think.
Salt Lake City