Lawmakers will focus on budget and enforcement in air quality initiatives

SALT LAKE CITY -- The Utah Clean Air Partnership, or UCAIR, says lawmakers will handle a few proposals dealing with air quality.

Appropriations committees will evaluate the governor’s $100 million budget for new air quality initiatives, and legislators may look at tightening laws against woodburning on bad air days.

“There hasn't been a strong element of enforcement,” said Thom Carter, UCAIR Executive Director.

Wood burning is against the law on yellow, or moderate, air days in Salt Lake County and on orange, or unhealthy, air days in all other counties with air quality problems.

The only exceptions to burning restrictions are for homeowners who have notified the state that they rely solely on wood burning for heat. In seven problem counties, only 70 homeowners have requested that designation.

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