UPHE Op Ed in the D. News on chemical safety at the refineries

Recently, UPHE’s senior policy analyst and researcher, Malin Moench testified at an EPA hearing against a proposed roll back of chemical safety rules at hundreds of refineries and chemical plants throughout the country.  Hundreds of thousands of residents of the Wasatch Front are at risk if a catastrophic accident or earth quake were to allow the release of toxic chemicals, like hydrofluoric acid, from any of the  refineries on Refinery Row.   The Deseret News published our Op Ed on that testimony.

UPHE Op Ed in High Country News

The mining industry is trying to exploit the current anti-environmental atmosphere in Congress and the White House and are pushing for federal rule making that would give them expedited approval for new mining projects. Several mining watch dogs groups asked UPHE to write an Op Ed in opposition to this highly inappropriate, sweet deal for the mining industry.  That Op Ed appeared recently in High Country News.

UPHE’s Op Ed in the Deseret News warning against an inland port

Is the price we will have to pay to make SLC an inland port worth it?  Massive increase in truck traffic, more congested freeways, more diesel emissions, more air pollution, an influx of more people in an already crowded valley desperate for clean air and whose water resources are diminishing rapidly?   Plans for our economic future must be consistent with the carrying capacity of where we live.  Cancer is the only thing that can grow indefinitely, and we all know how that ends.



UPHE Op Ed on Trump and the Environment

Our own Ex. Dir., Denni Cawley, has a great Op Ed in the SL Tribune,  12/11/16, outlining why we are concerned about theTrump administration’s wholesale love affair with dirty energy.  It was written before Trump announced his nominees for EPA and Dept. of Interior; picks that would only have provoked an even stronger condemnation than reflected in the Op Ed.


Utah state leaders ignoring the lesson from Flint, Mich.

The lead contamination scandal in Flint, Mich. should be serving as a wake up call to Utah’s state leaders about lead and exposure to the many other environmental toxins that we know are undermining our children’s mental capabilities, causing behavioral disorders, and triggering a wide range of neurologic diseases in adults.  But what should happen in Utah and what actually does happen in Utah are often two very different things, as explained in UPHE’s Op Ed in the SL Tribune, April 24, 2016.  You may read it here.



Bear River “Project” is a huge air pollution mistake

Op Ed in the SL Tribune May 21, 2015 by Dr. Moench on the possible dust consequences of plans to divert water from the Bear River, which will further shrink the Great Salt Lake. This has been done before in other parts of the world, like the Aral Sea, and the result has been an air pollution and public health disaster. Utah residents should not let a huge, irreversible mistake like this happen with the GSL.  To read more...

Undeniable: Air pollution threatens pregnancies and fetal development

Op Ed in the Salt Lake Tribune, April 16, 2015 by Dr. Brian Moench

On the Utah Department of Health “Pregnancy Risk Line” is this statement: “Research has not shown conclusive evidence of birth defects or other poor outcomes from exposure to poor air quality in pregnancy.”

UDOH’s statement is as medically accurate as the 1947 ads featuring doctors pitching cigarettes as “good for you.” To Read more:




Wood burning harms “burners” and their neighbors the most

Op Ed, SL Tribune, March 7,2015.  Dr. Brian Moench

“Smoke [from my neighbor] is filling my house. Here goes the throat closing, here comes the chest hurting, here comes the headache.”

“My pulmonary doctor told me to avoid wood smoke at any cost, telling me [it] was damaging my lungs. Yet here I sit, a prisoner in my own smoke-filled house. What can I do? Is there no law against wood smoke invading one’s space?”

“I don’t even have to smoke to get cancer now! You wood stove owners are doing that for me!”

“I just sit in my house like a trapped prisoner to the [wood] smoke. Sometimes I just cry. Sometimes I will get in my car and try to get away from the smoke. This year is worse than last because more people are burning more than ever.”

Read more.

My view: Wood burning hurts Utah air quality

Our dreaded winter inversion season is just around the corner. We can expect more rallies, more legislation, more debates between lawmakers and clean air advocates and more national and international notoriety for our sometimes “worst in the nation” pollution. Last January, much to his credit, Gov. Gary Herbert called for a wintertime ban on wood burning in our worst polluted counties. His proposal deserves community-wide and legislative support. [Read More]