Legislation to Overturn Anti-Idling Ordinance Advances

(KCPW News) A bill that bans Utah cities from enforcing anti-idling ordinances advanced in a House Committee Thursday. Last fall, Salt Lake City passed such an ordinance in an effort to improve air quality. And despite the city’s promise to change it, lawmakers passed the bill twelve to two. Salt Lake City resident Ingrid Griffinson told the committee she doesn’t feel the move is very democratic.

“It is saying across the board that nobody can work with their mayors to come up with an appropriate anti-idling ordinance. And perhaps Salt Lake City’s ordinance does have flaws in it. That’s entirely possible. But don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater. Allow the conversation to keep going,” she argued.

Republican Representative Wayne Harper, the sponsor of the bill, says the new ordinance is hard on businesses and isn’t enforceable because it has too many exemptions.

Democratic Representative Larry Wiley of West Valley City said his concern is how the ordinance affects surrounding cities and the commerce that occurs in between.

“If you could find a collaboration of mayors throughout the Salt Lake County area that would come together and come up with an ordinance that’s one thing, but what you’ve got is you’ve got one city who’s taking it upon themselves, and they’re taking a leadership role here no doubt about it, but the unintended consequences here is that it affects people in my district,” he said.

Salt Lake City Council Vice-Chair Charlie Luke says the city will continue to work with Representative Harper to see if it can keep its ordinance. Park City also has an anti-idling ordinance that would be affected by the bill.