Our poor air quality is well-known. The Utah Air Quality Board and the State's Air Quality Division are working on plans to meet current and future EPA requirements. The EPA is forcing us to do what our governor and Legislature should have done long ago develop plans and policies to improve our collective health rather than fostering plans and programs which will make the air worse and worse. The EPA is on our side.
The governor, Salt Lake County mayor and other officials are saying we must plan for growth, for a near doubling of Salt Lake County population in just 20-25 years. The message takes many forms: jobs depend on growth; economic viability depends on growth; we must have "smart" growth, "sustainable" growth, clean growth. We will plan for "a better way to grow."
Wasatch Front air quality has already deteriorated and is a major health concern for those with asthma and other respiratory issues. A doubling of the population, a massive increase in Kennecott's operations and an expansion of the oil refineries will guarantee worse and even terrible air quality in the very near future.