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Next time they replace a water heater, Utahns may be required to buy models that greatly reduce pollution — but cost $50 to $100 apiece more.

The Utah Senate voted 23-3 to pass HB250, the House later concurred with amendments, and the bill now goes to Gov. Gary Herbert for his possible signature.

HB250 would limit the sale and purchase of water heaters in Utah after July 1, 2018, to models that qualify as ultra-low-NOx emitters.

Nitrogen oxide —NOx — is a precursor chemical that contributes to both fine-particulate pollution in the winter and ozone formation in the summer.

Rep. Ed Redd, R-Logan, the bill's sponsor, earlier said that the change would remove as much NOx as shutting down all the state's oil refineries.

But several lawmakers had complained the bill would require everyone statewide to buy the low-pollution models, even if they live in rural areas without pollution problems.

Rep. Jeremy Peterson, R-Ogden, said Salt Lake County residents alone may need to spend somewhere between $15 million and $45 million in extra expense for such water heaters over the next 10 years.

— Lee Davidson