More pollution cuts needed to proposed air quality plan, Utah group says

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SALT LAKE CITY -- Some Utahns demand deeper pollution cuts as state officials get closer to approving its new State Implementation Plan to get Utah’s air quality within federal guidelines by 2019.

SIP was hit with critiques and criticisms during Wednesday’s Air Quality Board meeting. Heal Utah presented a call for more cuts to pollution, especially within the heavy industry.

That industry consists of businesses like oil refineries, Kennecott copper mine, steel mills and a couple dozen facilities from Logan to Provo.  Heal Utah officials said they don’t think the state will reach their pollution targets with the current plan proposed.

“When you take a close look at the state's plan and the coming decade you see that cars will be polluting less, small businesses will be polluting less, our homes and our buildings will be polluting less but our biggest industries will actually be increasing their overall pollution by 12 percent -- so what we think is that they need to do more, they need to do their fair share,” said Matt Pacenza, policy director with Heal Utah.

Public comment for SIP will end Dec. 2. The State Air Quality Board will vote to approve the pollution plan and SIP, which will then go to the Federal Environmental Protection Agency.