In the Hive

A spotlight on air quality in Utah


On this edition of “In the Hive,” we hear about the plan to cut Utah air pollution in half by 2030. The proposal, by Sen. Kirk Cullimore, would implement a series of incentives for cleaner vehicles and buildings and create a cap-and-trade program for industrial polluters in the state. Salt Lake Tribune columnist Robert Gehrke called it “likely the most ambitious and sweeping clean air bill the Utah Legislature has seen.” We’ll speak to the founder of O2 Utah, the new organization Cullimore partnered with to craft the legislation.

Plus, two University of Utah researchers discuss the grants they’ve received from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to study how the changes in human behavior during the COVID-19 pandemic affected air quality and greenhouse gas emissions. The research will follow up on preliminary findings showing a dramatic improvement in air quality during lockdowns. What can we learn from this difficult moment in history about what the future could look like?

Nitrogen Dioxide along the Wasatch Front from March 2019 vs. 2020. (Courtesy Dr. Logan Mitchell)

David Garbett, Executive Director of O2 Utah
Dr. Logan Mitchell, Research Assistant Professor in the U of U Department of Atmospheric Sciences
Dr. Derek Mallia, Research Assistant Professor in the U of U Department of Atmospheric Sciences

In the Hive
From local politics, to arts and culture, to history, the environment and beyond, “In the Hive” explores the issues and ideas that tie Utah together. Produced by KCPW Studios
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