Utah business leaders to Governor: Bad air making it hard to attract employees from out-of-state

SALT LAKE CITY - Thirty local business leaders are fed up with the Salt Lake Valley's bad air quality and the Utah government allowing the air to become so awful their employees are moving away.    They say it’s made hiring employees from outside of Utah challenging because potential employees do not want to breathe the valley air.

Business leaders teamed together to write a letter to Utah governor Gary Herbert to express their concerns and air quality improvement suggestions.

The letter also states the Environmental Protection Agency is requiring the state to submit a "Serious State Implementation Plan" to reduce pollution.

It states fine particle pollution has violated federal health standards for over ten years.

The business leaders said their business and their employees are at risk by living and working in the valley.

“From a personal standpoint all of our employee health, with recreation, we all are experiencing asthma and so, I think at this moment in time I think Utah has a unique opportunity to submit solutions to the air quality problem and to encourage young businesses and progressive people to come here and build the economy,” said Lindsey Elliott, a local business leader who co-founded a women’s outdoor company called Wylder.

“We moved here a year and a-half ago to specifically start the company in Salt Lake and so many of our peers go ‘why?'  What do you do about the air?’”

The letter recommends the state limit wood smoke and emissions from mobile sources.

Governor Herbert has not seen the business leaders’ letter.   He is out of the country on a trade mission.

Last May though the governor promoted refineries switching to "three-tier fuels."

He also signed resolutions to encourage people to buy better smog-rated vehicles.

Plus, $7.5 million of the Volkswagen settlement is going toward natural gas-powered Utah school buses.

Details of the letter are below: