This final blog post of the year covers our December partners meeting. This year has been full of challenges for all of us, however, UCAIR and our partners rose to the challenge. We are hopeful for 2021 and grateful for the lessons we learned in 2020 and the strength of our partnerships. To close out our year we had several presentations. First, we heard from Representative Patrice Arent about her time in the legislature, championing air quality. Next up was Josh Craft with Utah Clean energy who gave a presentation on the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact. Then Justin Smart with Penna Powers, talked to the group about the upcoming UCAIR winter campaign. Finally, Bryce Bird was kind enough to join us again with an update from the Division of Air Quality
My years Championing Air Quality in the Utah State Legislature – Representative Patrice Arent, Utah House of Representatives
Rep. Arent began to advocate for air quality issues in 2012. She knew it was important to address air quality in Utah not only as a health issue but also as an economic issue. Then share best practices not only with other state agencies but with the private sector as well. To advance this goal, Rep. Arent co-founded the bi-partisan Clean Air Caucus in 2013. In the last seven years, Rep. Arent has been a powerful voice in support of air quality programs and legislation such as, the CARROT Act, Wood Stove Conversion program, the Clean Air Fund and improved regulations on vehicle emissions. Through these efforts the conversation around air quality has changed, air quality is an important issue to Utahns. Businesses and government leaders, now recognize and prioritize air quality.
Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact – Josh Craft, Utah Clean Energy & Christian Gardner, Gardner Company
Climate change and air quality represent urgent challenges for our health, families, and economy. In recognition of the gravity of these challenges civic, religious and other community leaders from across the state have come together to sign the Utah Climate and Clean Air Compact. This compact encourages responsible stewardship of our home and natural resources, as well as, six central guide posts or principles to facilitate this stewardship.
- Climate and Air Quality: Many strategies, including improving energy efficiency, reducing vehicle emissions, developing transit and active transportation systems, and advancing innovative energy solutions will benefit both air quality and our climate. This clean air-climate connection provides common ground for action.
- Economy: Important industries such as agriculture, tourism, winter recreation, technology, and energy will benefit from Utah’s climate and clean air leadership. Salt Lake City’s selection as a potential host city for future Olympic and Paralympic Winter Games bids, provides an opportunity to demonstrate our commitment by taking decisive action to reduce emissions.
- Re-Energize Utah: Efforts to address climate change and air quality are leading to rapid advancements in technology and a global economic and energy revolution. This revolution will touch every aspect of our lives and economy and create new opportunities for innovation as we achieve a resilient, clean, and affordable energy future. Utah is in a unique position to seize these opportunities through our robust solar energy industry and our abundant clean energy resources.
- Rural Utah: The energy transition poses challenges for rural Utah communities. The Utah Climate and Clean Air compact urges the state to prioritize economic development and investment in rural areas impacted by changing energy markets.
- Leadership and the Utah Way: Utahns have a proud history of leading on and tackling challenging issues with collaborative solutions. Whether it is refugee resettlement, immigration reform, anti-discrimination, quality growth, fiscal responsibility, or religious freedom. Applying “The Utah Way” to our climate and air quality leadership will make this another Utah success story.
ShowUCAIR Winter Campaign Launch – Justin Smart, Penna Powers
The UCAIR Winter Campaign launched on December 15th. As in years past, the goal of the campaign is to educate the public on the role they can play in cleaning our air by reducing harmful emissions. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, some of the creative was adjusted to make messaging more appropriate. Once again, color coded billboard and online ads are part of the campaign and will be changed to match the current air quality conditions. For the television messaging, the ‘Easy to be Epic’ and a spot focusing on heath featuring UCAIR Board Chair Dr. Liz Joy, talking about the impacts of poor air quality on our health.
Air Quality Update – Bryce Bird, Division of Air Quality
We are entering our inversion season here in Northern Utah. During the first week of December pollution level increased quickly and by the end of the week levels were at double the standard. One of the ways the public can help is by supporting DAQ’s compliance program. There is an online complaint form that can be used to report wood burning on restricted days, reporting these incidents will help DAQ take action more quickly. The legislature has provided some funding to DAQ to gather baseline data on water and air quality in the state. This has allowed DAQ to establish two additional air monitoring sites.
PARTNER ROUND TABLE
Following the presentation, partners shared what projects and initiatives they are currently working on. These included:
Greg Libecci, Salt Lake School District: In June 2020 a student-driven resolution was presented to the district, calling for the use of 100% clean energy in the Salt Lake School District by 2030 and carbon neutrality by 2040. To meet these goals, they are installing EV chargers throughout the district and have ordered four electric school buses.
Thom Carter, UCAIR-
- Holly Frontier had a groundbreaking ceremony on December 15th to celebrate their production of Tier 3 fuel. They are joining the other 4 out of 5 refineries here that have begun to produce Tier 3 fuels.
- Governor-Elect Cox’s inauguration will be held January 4, 2021. If you are interested in going, more information is available on the Utah Inaugural Commission website.
NEXT MEETING: January 15, 2021, 9:00-11:00 AM