Bipartisan group of lawmakers team up to clean Utah’s air

CAPITOL HILL, Utah – Utah’s Clean Air Caucus unveiled the ten bills they’re working on this legislative session to tackle Utah’s air quality.

"Since our clean air caucus began over 4 years ago, we have passed more clean air legislation in the history of our state,” said Representative Patrice Arent D-Millcreek.

Arent admits there’s still more work to do to solve Utah’s air quality problem.

The bipartisan group of lawmakers are working on a range of bills such as (HB 171) cracking down on trucks blowing smoke, and (HB 101) mandating emission testing on diesel vehicles in all counties that have emission testing programs. Supporters say it would eliminate over 17 tons of pollution per year.

Representative Steve Eliason would like to establish a credit system to get auto dealers to ship zero-emission vehicles into Utah.

“We've all probably heard of people who want to buy these vehicles and they can't get them,” said Arent.

Senator Luz Escamilla and Representative Angela Romero would like to boost funding to continue air pollution monitoring.

“I think there's a vested interest in the state,” said Escamilla (D-SLC).

UTA and University of Utah have been collecting data for the past three years. Researchers can pinpoint where and what time of the day the air quality is red.

“We can make better decisions for example when it comes to health, and children and schools,” said Escamilla. “We can provide that information to school districts so they can make better decisions whether they keep kids inside school one day or not.”

There is another resolution this session recognizing the Jordan School District for their efforts to reduce air pollution with their fleet of natural gas school buses.