Utah Governor Gary Herbert together with former Governor Jon Huntsman Jr. and Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) executive director Ted Wilson highlighted four years of success in improving Utah’s air quality at UCAIR’s Inaugural Annual Report, held Jan. 20 at the Tower at Rice Eccles Stadium.
“We’ve come a long way since UCAIR was created in 2012,” said UCAIR executive
Director Ted Wilson. “Our health, economy and quality of life are among the most
important reasons to care about our air. And while we’ve had many successes in the
first years of this program, we look to the future as we continue to work together to improve air quality in the state.”
Thanks to a mix of private sector, government and non-profit funding, UCAIR has successfully supported multiple air quality initiatives including:
- Providing more than 45 small businesses and organizations with grants totaling over $650 thousand dollars to use toward air quality projects and programs
- Reducing more than 23 tons of emissions per year
- Embarking on a successful community education campaign
UCAIR also recognized three outstanding organizations for their contribution to improving Utah’s air:
Breathe Utah, Community Partner of the Year
Breathe Utah is a demonstration of how good things happen when neighbors and friends get together to solve a problem. From the grass roots to state-wide programs, Breathe has developed air quality curriculum for Utah’s schools, collaborated with similar groups in Cache County, developed expertise in members of its board, and run wood burning stove change out programs.
Hanko Keissner of Packsize, Person of the Year
Hanko doesn’t wait for governments or even UCAIR to contact him. He decided to take on the battle for air quality on his own and a few good friends. He began driving an electric car and then wanted many others to enjoy the experience and benefits. 15% of his company now drives electric vehicles, and he has installed 23 charging stations at their building. To spread the word, he joined two other business leaders, Steve Keyser and Talley Goodson, to form Leaders for Clean Air. Their work spreads the virtue of electric charging to the whole community. Hanko and his colleagues are showing the value of just plain getting something done for good air. No messing around, no talking, just do it.
Tesoro, Company of the Year
Tesoro has made a commitment to produce Tier 3 fuels, a goal of Governor Gary R. Herbert and the air quality community. The lower sulfur levels of refined fuel with the addition of Tier 3 vehicles will lead to large reductions in vehicle pollution. Tesoro is also sharing its executive talent for cleaner air. Karma Thomson, the manager of the Salt Lake Refinery, is a distinguished member of the Utah Air Quality Board. Additionally, her work with the Tesoro Company has led to a grant given to assist Salt Lake County to repair vehicles that fail the emission control tests. UCAIR assisted the agreement within its Commissioning program. Tesoro and Karma are great examples of business support for clean air.
“Efforts like these truly show the impact we can have when we work together,” Wilson said. “If everyone in Utah would make small changes such as turning down the thermostat, not idling their cars, carpooling or taking transit, our air quality would improve drastically. We’re all in this together, and it’s going to take each one of us to solve Utah’s air quality issue.”
A video highlighting UCAIR’s 2016 annual report can be viewed here: