I attended my first Utah Division of Air Quality meeting last week out of concern for our dirty air and to support initiatives to clean up air pollution. The meeting was an eye-opener.
I naively thought the DAQ was a government entity similar to the EPA, representing concerns of the people of Utah. I was disturbed to find that this not the case; the DAQ is mainly concerned with trying to fight mandates of the EPA, and is representing our biggest industrial polluters, the oil refineries and copper mine.
In fact the board is made up of representatives of these polluters. In the State Implementation Plan that passed last week, "economic impact" is a factor in the DAQ's decisions. However, the DAQ mission statement makes no mention of economic impact. It states only that the purpose of the DAQ is "to safeguard human health and quality of life by protecting and enhancing the environment."