At the June UCAIR Partners Meeting we had two great presentations. The first from Mike Flynn with EDC Utah about what trends in economic growth here in Utah and how it relates to air quality. Then we had an air quality update from DAQ director Bryce Bird.
Economic Growth in the State of Utah– Mike Flynn, Economic Development Corporation of Utah
EDC Utah is a private 501c6 founded in 1987, and are a contracted partner in corporate recruitment with Governor’s Office Economic Development. EDC Utah’s core competencies are:
- Business Development
- Research and Marketing
These competencies allow them to help companies make investment decisions. Some of the companies they have helped launch here in Utah are: Amazon Web Services, Northrup Grumman, Carvana, Tyson Foods and Go Health are just a few.
Goals and Measurements: Project Sites, Request for Information, Announcements, Jobs, Capital Investments and Square Footage.
Trends: They see average project wins pushing away from human capital and more towards automation in businesses recently. EDCUtah expects that this trend will continue. Software companies are beginning to disappear and have been diminishing over the past ten years. Instead, we are seeing more industrial builds, possibly due to Covid-19. Post pandemic, all of this could change, but these big industrial projects will continue. Financially these are great projects for the Utah economy, but the downside to these is their carbon footprint. Utahns need to try and understand how to build responsibly, while trying to build with health protections built in. Another trend expected to continue is an increased need and demand for food production. While building continues, material shortages may continue for the next 1-2 years. These shortages are not slowing growth.
Sustainability and Corporate Recruitment: Companies are coming into Utah and looking for opportunities to build and be more sustainable. Whether it’s building or towards conservation. Companies are taking into consideration the opinions of their employees to drive these decisions. There is less focus on cost and more on quality. Some of these companies are also pushing builds out to rural Utah. This helps jobs and those other small-town economies to thrive.
Division of Air Quality Update- Bryce Bird, Division of Air Quality
This June, DAQ staff is back in the office! Half the staff are back in the office full time and half are in the office part time. We are moving into ozone season and we did exceed the EPA standard last Thursday and Friday. The first few days next week will be declared mandatory action days. With ozone being a photo-chemical reaction, ozone peaks high in the afternoon so best times to be mobile are in the early mornings or later evenings. We are actively tracking fires in the west and expect smoke will be coming more to the North. Smoke impacts are tacked by the smoke impact area. There will be no Air Quality Board Meeting for in July.
EPA Announcement: The EPA will reconsider not moving the PM2.5 standard as they were previously considering. This will be re-evaluated next year.
PARTNER ROUND TABLE
Following the presentation, partners shared what projects and initiatives they are currently working on. These included:
Kim Frost, UCAIR-
- The ShowUCAIR Gas Can Exchange will be held on June 12th
- The UCAIR Grants cycle has begun, Letters of Intent will be due by July 31st
- An update for this year’s applicants is that there will be an opportunity for for-profit businesses to apply with a 50/50 funding match.
- After today’s meeting we will share a poll requesting feedback on when and how to hold the Partners Meetings in the future.
- There will be no partners meeting in July.
Rep. Joel Briscoe- The Clean Air Caucus will have their first, in-person meeting next Tuesday night in room 210 in the Senate Building at the Capitol at 6:30pm, it will also broadcast on Facebook Live.
Emily Paskett, Utah Clean Cities- Utah Clean Cities launched a new initiative, Drive Electric Utah. Please follow the link to learn more: https://driveelectricutah.org/
NEXT MEETING: August 13, 2021, 9:00-10:30 AM