Tired of bad Winter air in Utah? Summer is bad too, says EPA

SALT LAKE CITY -- Living through winter inversion is hard enough, and now the federal government has made it official that summer air in Utah is too often unhealthy.

A letter from the Environmental Protection Agency dated December 20 informed Utah Governor Gary Herbert that Salt Lake and Davis Counties are in "Non-Attainment" for ozone levels. They gave the same designation to portions of Weber, Tooele, Utah, Duchesne, and Uintah Counties.

Salt Lake City's new Council Chair Erin Mendenhall started her career in politics as a clean air activist, and she says the city is ready to lead on the issue.

Mendenhall outlined the city's efforts, including installing dozens of electric car charging stations and creating a city-wide transportation master plan.

"We need our transit opportunities to be more convenient and more affordable than getting in your car and driving somewhere, and right now they aren't either for most of us," Mendenhall said.

Mendenhall also said pollution from buildings will eventually surpass cars as contributors to unhealthy air, and the city should start indexing large buildings and help owners upgrade their efficiency.