UTAH (ABC4) – In January 2021, IQAir says that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) reported that Salt Lake City’s air was the dirtiest in the nation.

The weather, deemed “the mother of all inversions,” was a result of the growing urban activity in the area. IQAir states that cold air became trapped under warmer air that was hovering over the state. 

As of this month, the EPA ranks Salt Lake City No. 92 in terms of bad air quality, an exponential improvement compared to recent years. According to the Utah Division of Air Quality’s 2021 Annual Report, officials have been taking many steps to improve the state’s air quality, including declaring a public emergency. 

Though authorities have been working to clean up Utah’s air, it’s been suggested that some of their work may be at risk due to the recent surge of wildfires. In the past, the EPA has stated that “Wildfires increase air pollution in surrounding areas and can affect regional air quality.” 

When speaking to ABC4, the DEQ confirmed that “Air quality models are not showing a large impact from wildfire smoke this summer. The visible haze in the air is likely the result of wind-blown dust that has occurred over the last couple of days.”