Utah’s summer temperatures spiked early this year, but unfortunately so has summertime air pollution. Last year, there was only one mandatory action day for air quality all summer. This June alone, we’ve already had 13 mandatory action days in the Salt Lake airshed!
Many people recognize the yellow haze of winter inversions. It’s important to remember that July to August is also a critical season to keep an eye on air quality. Summer is a prime time for fun outdoor activities and events. We all want to go out and enjoy the summer with our friends and family. That makes air quality all the more important to our health and quality of life.
One simple action everyone can take is to be idle free this summer. Idling is a habit that can waste fuel and put extra emissions in the air. Just 10 seconds of idling can use more fuel than turning off and restarting your engine.
Salt Lake City committed to saving more than 300,000 pounds of air pollution this year by promoting its Idle Free City program. On June 30, Salt Lake City held a media event to unveil a new website –http://slcgov.com/idlefree – and Idle Free City signs to be posted at businesses and schools around town.
The signs were made possible by a grant from Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR). UCAIR operates a grant program for businesses, non-profits and government entities. Grant recipients must invest in technologies and programs that result in measurable pollution reduction.
The application period for UCAIR grants is currently closed. However, the Air Assist program is currently accepting applications from small businesses (fewer than 100 employees). UCAIR operates the Air Assist grant program in partnership with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and the Utah Department of Workforce Services. Air Assist provides grants for equipment upgrades to reduce emissions and improve air quality. If you know a business that could benefit from Air Assist, please send them our way!
In the meantime, commit to be idle free this summer and enjoy the season!
Here are a few links to news stories about Salt Lake City’s Idle Free City event: