Tell EPA to Not Delay Action to Clean Utah’s Air!
You know that Utah’s air quality is extremely unhealthy at times, particularly as we go into the winter inversion season. That nasty tiny particle known as PM2.5, so small that it gets into your lungs, blood stream and even your organs, can cause all kinds of short term and long term health problems. PM2.5 continues to be Utah’s nemesis in trying to comply with the Clean Air Act. Quite simply, Utah is going to be classified as “seriously” out of attainment (compliance) with EPA standards by January 1, 2016 (Just weeks away). Under current law, Utah is required to submit by June of 2017 a plan to get the state back under the PM2.5 standard by December of 2019. This plan is known as a state implementation plan, or SIP.
Unfortunately, the EPA is proposing to give Utah an exemption to that requirement, allowing the state until December 31, 2018 to submit its new SIP. That means that Utah would then only have one year to put the plan out for comment and review, and then fully implement it in order to acquire “attainment” status by December 2019. Can you say “IMPOSSIBLE?”
EPA is asking for public comment by December 9, 2015 on its new proposed rule. Contact EPA and demand that the agency take action to clean our air sooner, not later. Tell EPA it needs to require the new Utah State Implementation Plan for PM2.5 to be completed no later than June of 2017 so the public can participate in the planning effort and the state has time to attain standards in 2019. Utah should be required to take action asap in order to clean up small particulate air pollution that leads to cancer and serious health impacts. Tell EPA to declare Utah a serious non attainment area in January 2016 and take the fastest and most realistic path forward to clean our air!
Submit your comments before December 9, 2015 to:
Please reference Docket ID No. EPA-R08-OAR-2015-0342
Via Email: email@example.com
Crystal Ostigaard, Air Program
EPA, Region 8
1595 Wynkoop Street
Denver, CO 80202-1129
UPHE’s comments, written by the attorney’s at Western Resource advocates can be found here. They are very technical from a legal and regulatory standpoint. But here’s the bottom line: The EPA’s proposal would delay and ultimately water down air pollution reduction strategies for Utah. We consider that absolutely unacceptable.