Clean Air Caucus rolls out this year’s legislative plan

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY, Utah- (ABC4 News) – Right now our air is clean and crisp, but we all know how nasty it can get during the dreaded inversions.

Friday state lawmakers unveiled their plan to help us all breath a little easier.

Poor air quality is a major threat to our way of life in Utah.

“I have patients that have beaten cancer and beaten chemotherapy and radiation, but they can’t beat our air pollution,” said Representative Suzanne Harrison, (D) Draper.

In not only impacts our personal health but our state’s economic health as well.

That’s why lawmakers from both sides stand united as members of the bipartisan Clean Air Caucus.

They say we are making progress.

“2002, was 471 tons of particulates per day in our valley. 2019, there’s 291,” said Senator David Buxton, (R) Roy.

But, there’s still a lot of work to do.

This year the caucus is working on 11 appropriation requests and 21 pieces of legislation.

That includes a bill to monitor what’s happening with the inland port.

“As we move forward with our biggest economic development growth in the state of Utah, we’re excited for that, but we want to do it in a responsible manner,” said Senator Luz Escamilla, (D) Salt Lake City.

Increased infrastructure for electric vehicles.

“Electric vehicles are a great way, especially getting to and from your place of employment to provide transportation and keep our air clean,” said Representative Lowry Snow, (R) St. George.

A pilot program to encourage people to ditch their cars on poor air quality days.

“We are going to incentivize people to take mass transit by making UTA mass transit free for a few days,” said Representative Joel Briscoe, (D) Salt Lake City.

And, much more.

In all, lawmakers are shooting for more than $109,500,000.

That’s slightly higher than the governor’s recommendation.

“The governor’s wish list of $100,000,000, I think, is, unfortunately, going to get scaled back because the new revenue numbers that were released today are not that positive,” said Senator Todd Weiler, (R) Woods Cross.

Members of the caucus are also reminding us we all play a role because our cars and homes produce most of the pollution during an inversion.

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Glen Mills

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 Glen is honored to be delivering the news of the day every weeknight at 5, 6, and 10 in his home state. He is an award-winning veteran journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team as a weekend anchor in June 2013. Over the years, he held various positions at the station as he worked his way up to the main anchor chair. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent and hosts Inside Utah Politics, which airs every Sunday. The Utah Headliners Chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists has recognized Glen as the best government and military television reporter in the state. Before returning home to Utah, he spent 11 1/2 years developing his journalism skills in other states. He held various on-air and management positions at KPVI in Pocatello, Idaho, WGBA in Green Bay, Wisconsin, and KKCO in Grand Junction, Colorado during that time. Read More...