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Emma Penrod

Environment reporter, Health, education, environment

801-257-8790, epenrod@sltrib.com


  • (Scott Sommerdorf  |  Tribune file photo)     Lynn Keddington, refinery manager for HollyFrontier in Woods Cross, from Thursday, April 27, 2012. Utah Supreme Court tosses air-quality lawsuit over refinery expansion
    A Utah environmental group is disappointed but not necessarily surprised by the state Supreme Court’s decision to dismiss a lawsuit that sought to sto...
    Updated Jun 28 2017 10:04 am   |     |   Share

  • (Rick Egan  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Haze from smoke of the Brian Head fire drifts through the streets of Parowan last week. Brian Head Fire not polluting the Wasatch Front ... yet
    Southern Utah’s Brian Head Fire is burning so hot, the chemicals that would typically create elevated levels of ozone around the blaze are being compl...
    Updated Jun 28 2017 09:58 am   |     |   Share

  • (Trent Nelson  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Mack Wilberg directs a choir of inmates at the Utah State Prison during a Spring Recital on Saturday as part of the Wasatch Music Education Program. Mormon Tabernacle Choir director teaches new group — and they're not who you’d expect
    Mormon Tabernacle Choir director Mack Wilberg has taken a new group of musicians under his wing — but you’ll have to visit Utah State Prison to hear t...
    Updated Jun 24 2017 11:09 pm   |     |   Share

  • Torrey businesses reopening after nearly a week without water
    Despite having weathered “ghost town-like” conditions after a water main break that ran the town water system dry over the weekend, many Torrey busine...
    Updated Jun 23 2017 02:02 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Torrey’s Main Street.  State Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, has labeled town residents ’hypocrites’ over their request for state funds to improve Torrey’s water system, because some of them differ with Noel’s stances on oil and gas drilling. Torrey water shortage was a long time coming
    Before temporarily running out of water over the weekend and declaring a state of emergency Monday, the southern Utah town of Torrey, located just out...
    Updated Jun 28 2017 09:39 am   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Torrey’s Main Street.  State Rep. Mike Noel, R-Kanab, has labeled town residents ’hypocrites’ over their request for state funds to improve Torrey’s water system, because some of them differ with Noel’s stances on oil and gas drilling. Torrey declares state of emergency after town runs out of water
    State help is on its way to the town of Torrey, which has run out of water following a water main break. The town’s storage tanks were cut off from th...
    Updated Jun 20 2017 08:02 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  | Tribune file photo)   An algal bloom at Scofield Reservoir in Carbon County in  August 2016, which forced officials to temporarily close the popular  fishery to boating and swimming in light of escalating levels of toxin-generating cyanobacteria. A top state water-quality official said Tuesday the state is better prepared for dealing with such outbreaks. Will algal blooms return to Utah waters? If so, state officials say they’re better prepared
    Utah is better prepared to respond to algal blooms if the state sees a repeat of last summer’s infestations on Utah Lake and Scofield Reservoir, offic...
    Updated Jun 20 2017 11:25 pm   |     |   Share

  • Unable to offer free sailing at annual party, Great Salt Lake Yacht Club invites environmentalists instead
    Trying times on the Great Salt Lake will bring together a group of unlikely allies for a celebration this weekend, now that a temporary reprieve from ...
    Updated Jun 17 2017 01:44 am   |     |   Share

  • (Leah Hogsten  | Tribune file photo)   The Malad River valley, just south of the Idaho border and a tributary to the Bear River. Utah’s water resources are the focus of a statewide water management strategy, released in draft form on Thursday. Latest draft of state water strategy still includes controversial water projects
    A newly released draft of Gov. Gary Herbert’s 50-year water management plan is vastly improved from previous versions, according to the team that draf...
    Updated Jun 16 2017 11:32 am   |     |   Share

  • Dom Smith  | Courtesy of EcoFlight This aerial photo shot in April 2015 shows the White Mesa Uranium mill near Blanding and its evaporation ponds. In comments to the U.S. Interior Department, state officials are claiming the mill — and Utah’s uranium industry — are being jeopardized by President Obama’s designation in December of the Bears Ears National Monument. Neighbors of rural Utah uranium mill call state regulators ‘heartless’
    State regulators and operators of the White Mesa uranium mill near Blanding confirmed the facility’s license does not require owner Energy Fuels to no...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 11:37 pm   |     |   Share

  • Dom Smith  | Courtesy of EcoFlight This aerial photo shot in April 2015 shows the White Mesa Uranium mill near Blanding and its evaporation ponds. In comments to the U.S. Interior Department, state officials are claiming the mill — and Utah’s uranium industry — are being jeopardized by President Obama’s designation in December of the Bears Ears National Monument. After operating with an expired license for a decade, White Mesa uranium mill may get new permits
    After running for more than a decade on an expired state permit, the controversial White Mesa Uranium Mill in southeastern Utah is on the cusp getting...
    Updated Jun 09 2017 07:10 am   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann | Tribune file photo)   The Salt Lake Valley during a 2016 day when levels of health-threatening ozone levels were high. Lawyers for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency signaled Tuesday the agency is reconsider a 2015 rule that reduced allowable ozone levels. EPA gives Utah a break on meeting ozone standard
    Federal regulators have decided to give Utah — and other areas on track to violate the 2015 standard for ozone pollution — an extra year to address th...
    Updated Jun 07 2017 10:26 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Francisco Kjolseth | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Dangerous conditions can be seen in Big Cottonwood Creek, saturated by the spring runoff following a high snow pack winter season on Monday, June 5, 2017. High-flowing Utah rivers not done rising — and still pose danger
    Utahns should avoid most rivers, at least in the northern portion of the state, until the snowmelt-driven surge in water flows dies down in the next f...
    Updated Jun 14 2017 08:53 pm   |     |   Share

  • Wayne Wurtsbaugh  |  Utah State University Since 1959 Union Pacific Railroad’s rock causeway has isolated the Great Salt Lake’s hyper-saline North Arm, the reddish water on the left, from the rest of the lake to the south. Utah and federal regulators are now weighing the railroad’s plan to construct a 150-foot breach and bridge that would allow water to travel back and forth. Without such mixing, the lake’s overseers fear the South Arm could experience swings in its salt load to the detriment of industries and tiny organisms that depend on the lake. Breach may help solve toxic mystery in Great Salt Lake
    After a temporary hiatus, a highly poisonous form of mercury may soon return to the Great Salt Lake. Scientists are closely monitoring the lake’s intr...
    Updated Jun 05 2017 11:08 am   |     |   Share

  • President Donald Trump gestures while speaking about the U.S. role in the Paris climate change accord, Thursday, June 1, 2017, in the Rose Garden of the White House in Washington. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais) Trump’s withdrawal from Paris climate accord draws mixed Utah reaction
    President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw the U.S. from participation in the Paris climate accord, announced Thursday, drew a wide-ranging and mix...
    Updated Jun 01 2017 11:12 pm   |     |   Share

  • Photo courtesy of Discovery Communications  The Diesel Brothers takes a Duramax pickup truck out for a spin for the Discovery Channel show ’Diesel Brothers.’ Diesel Brothers call clean-air suit against them ‘overly broad’
    Utah television personalities known as the Diesel Brothers have asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit against them that says the group violated t...
    Updated May 31 2017 11:11 pm   |     |   Share

  • EPA sues over hazardous mine tailings near Park City
    The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency would like to know whether an old mining conglomerate will keep its financial commitments to clean up hazardo...
    Updated May 31 2017 10:47 pm   |     |   Share

  • Who has rights to use water in Salt Lake? We've been trying to find out since 1900
    When Lance Anderson got a water-rights summons in the mail recently, he thought it might be a winning ticket. Like many of his neighbors, Anderson sai...
    Updated May 29 2017 09:52 am   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Jenny Reese and her daughter Genevieve Reese, 11, of Salt Lake City, slide down a water tube in Parleys Creek in Parleys Historic Nature Park Sunday May 25, 2014. City lands $1.2 million to overhaul Red Butte, Emigration and Parley’s creeks near Jordan River
    The non-profit Seven Canyons Trust has received $1.2 million in grants to restore about 200 feet of Salt Lake City’s natural urban waterways at 1300 S...
    Updated May 26 2017 10:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • With California going coal-free, power plant near Utah’s Delta switching to natural gas
    California’s state ban on coal-fired power has prompted an independent plant in rural Utah to convert to natural gas. The Intermountain Power Agency, ...
    Updated May 27 2017 09:41 pm   |     |   Share

  • Hatch proposes new plan for states struggling with “one-size-fits-all” ozone rule
    A new proposal from Utah Sen. Orrin Hatch could give the state more time to address its growing problem with ozone pollution. The Senate bill — co-spo...
    Updated May 25 2017 11:39 pm   |     |   Share

  • Shaun McGrath ï Fformer administrator for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Region 8, which covers Utah. Former EPA leader defends actions on Utah haze, ozone
    A plan to require new pollution controls at coal-fired power plants in Utah was among the Environmental Protection Agency’s greatest accomplishments u...
    Updated May 19 2017 05:43 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Christina Slade is a Magna resident who has decided to replace her lawn after growing tired to all the maintenance and water a lawn requires. Her water-wise plants only require to be watered once a week even in the heat of Summer. It is not typically necessary to start watering your garden until Mother’s Day in Utah, and yet each year Salt Lake City residents spend more than $37,000 per day watering their lawns in April and early May. Early lawn watering leads Utahns’ wallets to spring a leak
    If you’ve already started watering your lawn, there’s a good chance you’ve done little more than waste money, experts say. Utah water managers say the...
    Updated May 17 2017 07:22 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Steve Griffin  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)     School busses leave Matheson Junior High School in Magna, Utah Tuesday May 16, 2017. What to do with Volkswagen’s fine? Utah guv says buy new school buses
    Volkswagen will be buying Utah students new, cleaner school buses, Gov. Gary Herbert told fourth-, fifth- and sixth-graders at Ensign Elementary Schoo...
    Updated May 16 2017 10:51 pm   |     |   Share

  • Utah auditor says Division of Water Quality employee falsified travel over a decade
    An employee of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality used falsified invoices to steal more than $140,000 from taxpayers, according to the state...
    Updated May 15 2017 10:45 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Al Hartmann  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Water is dark brown and filled with toxic sediment below Tibble Fork Reservoir dam Thursday August  25 . 9 months after toxic spill, American Fork deemed no longer dangerous
    The Utah County Health Department has lifted an advisory warning residents away from recreating in the American Fork River, which was polluted by lead...
    Updated May 22 2017 03:34 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Scott Sommerdorf | The Salt Lake Tribune)   Professor Denise Stephens, foreground with BYU students Leeanne Farnbach, left, Andrew Patterson, center, and Kyle Matt, right, who discovered a new planet while working on a class project with the school’s 16 inch Cassegrain telescope, Thursday, May 4, 2017. Planet discovery a lesson in persistence, BYU astronomy students say
    Provo • A group of recent Brigham Young University graduates can already put “discovered a planet” on their resumes. A paper describing their first di...
    Updated May 11 2017 03:05 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Luis Parriles, of Orem, fishes in the Provo River near Heber City Friday, May 5, 2017. Ample snowpack has Utah rivers set to flood
    Several northern Utah rivers are practically guaranteed to overflow their banks later this month, based on the amount of snow remaining in mountains a...
    Updated Jun 05 2017 04:03 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   Local healthcare professionals attend the Unmask My City: Air Quality, Climate Change and Your Health event at Impact Hub on Tuesday. Advocates urge public action on Utah air quality
    More Utah residents and community leaders need to speak out against air pollution, advocates are saying. Air-quality campaigners are enlivened after t...
    Updated May 03 2017 09:48 pm   |     |   Share

  • (Chris Detrick  |  The Salt Lake Tribune)   A pollution inversion over the Salt Lake Valley as seen from an airplane returning to Salt Lake International Airport Friday December 30, 2016.  EPA labels Utah air-quality problems ‘serious’
    State officials are mulling new pollution-control measures after the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has found Utah out of compliance with air-qu...
    Updated May 03 2017 12:51 am   |     |   Share