Quantcast
Get breaking news alerts via email

Click here to manage your alerts
Utah clean-air initiative short on openness?
UCAIR » Critics say nonprofit clouded by conflict of interest and lack of transparency.


< Previous Page


The Herbert administration has been fumbling for an effective response to Utah’s pollution. Especially bad episodes last winter gave Utah a smoggy black eye as angry locals staged weekly Capitol rallies to protest inaction by leaders; and ski vacationers, Sundance film festival attendees and Outdoor Retailer conventioneers found a Salt Lake Valley in a filthy haze.

Smith has said her office barely has enough funding to handle regulatory duties, let alone the sort of robust public education campaign and a best-practices program that UCAIR is aiming for. The Legislature not only failed to act last winter on a bill to provide $50,000 funding for a new, Web-based clearinghouse for air-quality information but also signed off another $228,000 cut to DEQ’s state funding, including some from the Division of Air Quality.

Join the Discussion
Post a Comment

Dixie Huefner is among those worried about conflict of interest and UCAIR. A member of the Utah Citizens’ Counsel, an independent, nonpartisan good-government group, she explains that while she wants less pollution, she also wants UCAIR to ensure its operations are transparent.

"UCAIR, even with the good people on it, needs to establish its integrity, carefully avoiding conflicts of interest and acting with transparency," she said. "Its rules and procedures must build confidence in its objectivity. To build public trust it must disclose its funding sources."

Good-government activist Claire Geddes agrees, saying government-private partnerships like these have a history of favoring insiders.

"I can see a multitude of conflicts of interest from this" UCAIR model, she added.

"You can’t use public funds and public resources for private purposes," she said. "It’s like being kinda pregnant."

fahys@sltrib.com

Twitter: judyfutah


story continues below
story continues below



Copyright 2014 The Salt Lake Tribune. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

Top Reader Comments Read All Comments Post a Comment
Click here to read all comments   Click here to post a comment


About Reader Comments


Reader comments on sltrib.com are the opinions of the writer, not The Salt Lake Tribune. We will delete comments containing obscenities, personal attacks and inappropriate or offensive remarks. Flagrant or repeat violators will be banned. If you see an objectionable comment, please alert us by clicking the arrow on the upper right side of the comment and selecting "Flag comment as inappropriate". If you've recently registered with Disqus or aren't seeing your comments immediately, you may need to verify your email address. To do so, visit disqus.com/account.
See more about comments here.
Staying Connected
Videos
Jobs
Contests and Promotions
  • Search Obituaries
  • Place an Obituary

  • Search Cars
  • Search Homes
  • Search Jobs
  • Search Marketplace
  • Search Legal Notices

  • Other Services
  • Advertise With Us
  • Subscribe to the Newspaper
  • Access your e-Edition
  • Frequently Asked Questions
  • Contact a newsroom staff member
  • Access the Trib Archives
  • Privacy Policy
  • Missing your paper? Need to place your paper on vacation hold? For this and any other subscription related needs, click here or call 801.204.6100.