For November’s partner meeting we heard from local leaders on their efforts to curb pollution: Utah Petroleum Association and Friends of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks.
First, Rikki Hrenko-Browning, President of Utah Petroleum Association, presented on the Latch the Hatch-Program. Utah has a wintertime problem with ozone in the Uintah Basin. Industry has a role to play, and this program intends to educate the industry on methane emissions. Latch the Hatch is a voluntary program that in 2021 had seven companies join. 2021 results: Installed 1,235 signs, 3,914 gaskets were replaced, 35 alarms for open hatches, 26 requests to hauling companies, 10 contracts, 1 installed LACT unit, 21 tank isolation valves, 2 flyovers, identified 20leaks that have been detected and promptly repaired. What are the next steps for this program? In 2022, UPA began to send out ozone alerts to notify industry of an ozone event detected and to employ efforts to curb emissions. If you are interested in more information surrounding Ozone in the Uintah Basin, please visit this website: https://www.usu.edu/basinozonegroup/index. Additionally, to learn more about the Latch the Hatch program please see more information here: https://update.thenewslinkgroup.org/kicking-off-latch-the-hatch/
Next, we heard about the Outdoor Lighting Assistance Program in Moab City and Grand County from Steve Evers, Executive Director of the Friends of Arches and Canyonlands National Parks (FOACP). As a recipient of a UCAIR grant, this program promoted the importance of reducing light pollution to help reduce emissions but also to preserve the dark night skies in the Moab region. As a result, the program supported fifteen dark sky lighting retrofits for residences and more than twenty ads increasing public awareness.
Finally, Bryce Bird, the Director of the Utah Division of Air Quality gave the partners an air quality update. We are in our winter season and have started our winter advisory notifications to message to reduce driving and teleworking. Additionally, the Environmental Protection Agency and the Inflation Reduction Act has uploaded a docket to gather information from organizations on how to exhaust the funding. Comments close mid-January. For more information, please visit the IRA site here: https://www.epa.gov/inflation-reduction-act.