Emissions Inventory Shows 10,000 Polluters

(KCPW News) A newly released inventory of emissions across Utah pinpoints the biggest factors in the state’s wintertime pollution. Division of Air Quality Director Bryce Bird says it’s no surprise that cars are the leading cause, with 55 percent of Salt Lake County’s emissions coming from vehicles alone.

“This just reinforces how important it is for people to maintain their cars, how important the existing maintenance programs are and how important future planning for transit programs and also educating the public about what they can do to reduce emissions through better trip planning or better maintenance,” he tells KCPW.

Bird says the data, which is available online, shows there are nearly 10,000 individual polluters responsible for Utah’s bad air, which means it will take everyone to help clean it up. He says the second largest contributor in Salt Lake County was commerce.

“This is everything from commercial heating to small businesses to small manufacturing operations, things like that that really don’t fall into the large industrial category but it’s kind of just a description of a healthy economy and all the things that are associated with that,” says Bird.

The DAQ says industrial pollution sources aren’t getting a pass, however, adding its engineers are reviewing their permits to identify additional controls to curb their emissions. The study was done after several counties were not meeting federal air quality guidelines. The state is now working to implement pollution controls by 2019.