Utah leaders kick off annual idle free month

Local News

SALT LAKE CITY (News4Utah) – It has been a bad summer for air quality, and we are about to enter the dreaded winter inversion season.

That’s why the governor, local mayors, and clean air advocates are coming together to remind us we all play a role in clearing the air.

On the steps of the City/County Building in Salt Lake City, the message is clear.

“Turn your key and be idle free. It is important that you take that message as a call to action,” said Mayor Jackie Biskupski.

She is one of more than 70 mayors across the state to join Governor Gary Herbert for the 11th Annual Idle Free Declaration.

Encouraging the public to do its part in reducing emissions.

“This is what it’s about. Changing our behavior, changing the decisions we make. Whether it’s in our buildings, or in our transportation choices, we can each be part in contributing to the solution,” said Dr. Laura Nelson, the governor’s energy adviser.

It’s a big part of the legislative session every year. Representative Patrice Arent, who chairs the bipartisan Clean Air Caucus says we’re making progress.

“Since our caucus began, just a few years ago we have passed, with your help more clean air legislation than in the history of our state. That being said, there is still a lot more work to do and we are continuing to work it,” said Arent, (D) Salt Lake City.

Part of that work is to cut down on vehicle emissions, which have a major impact on our winter inversions.

That’s why going idle free is part of a bigger solution.

“If you do something small, I do something small, everybody does something small, we put it all together then it becomes something large,” said UCAIR executive director Thom Carter.

Four school districts and eight cities in our state currently have idle free ordinances in place. They were recognized as part of the kickoff event.

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Glen Mills

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For this Beetdigger and Ute it’s an honor to be doing what he loves in his home state! Glen is an award-winning journalist, who joined the ABC4 News team in June 2013. You can catch him anchoring ABC4 News at 5 and 6, Monday through Friday. He also serves as our Senior Political Correspondent, keeping you up to date on issues that impact your life at the city, state and national level. His political reports run throughout the week, and he hosts Inside Utah Politics, Sunday mornings at 8. 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...