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Posts from the ‘Air Quality’ Category

Wildfires + Fireworks + Ozone (Oh July!)

 

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Wildfire in Federal Heights, July 6th. Courtesy of the Salt Lake City Fire Department.

by Talula Pontuti, SLCgreen intern

For weeks, we have experienced wildfires across the state, primarily in the southern part of Utah, where firefighters are fighting tirelessly to protect communities and landscapes.

Those fires have not only destroyed homes, habitats, and landscapes, but the fires are contributing to poor air quality in those areas and throughout Utah.

In addition, fireworks from the Fourth of July increase particulate matter, aggravating respiratory conditions for those with preexisting respiratory and heart illnesses, such as asthma and heart disease.

Combine the fires and fireworks with ozone created by vehicle and product pollution – and we have the perfect mix for poor air quality.

Understanding what is going on and what our impacts are on air quality in our city is critical to being able to keep people healthy and having fun this summer. Read more

Summertime . . . and the Air is Nasty

By Jack Hurty, SLCgreen intern

We’re all used to winter smog here along the Wasatch Front, with brown haze moving in and obscuring the mountains. But there is another pollutant in the valley, invisible but no less dangerous — ozone.

What is Ozone?

Ozone, a molecule consisting of three oxygen atoms, is created when nitrogen oxide (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) mix and are heated by the sunlight.

NOx and VOCs are typically emitted by motor vehicles, but they can come from consumer products as well as industrial sources. (Read more about how ozone forms.)

Ozone is often found in the Earth’s stratosphere, where it plays a beneficial role by protecting us from damaging rays. But when ozone sits in the atmosphere where we can breathe it in, it can be very damaging to our health.

Read more

Salt Lake City joins Utah’s C-PACE financing program for building efficiency

Salt Lake City is pleased to join the State’s C-PACE program. Check out the press release from the Governor’s Office of Energy Development for more information . . . and stay tuned for workshop announcements and other highlights of businesses taking advantage of this cool financing tool.


 

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News Release
For Immediate Release

June 26, 2018

 

SALT LAKE CITY (June 26, 2018) — The Governor’s Office of Energy Development (OED) is pleased to announce that Salt Lake City, the state’s largest municipality, has joined Utah’s new financing tool to advance energy improvements in commercial, industrial and qualifying residential buildings.

Commercial Property Assessed Clean Energy (C-PACE) is a low-cost financing mechanism for energy efficiency, renewable energy, electric vehicle and water conservation projects. The program continues to grow in Utah due to its ability to finance 100 percent of improvements using long term loans with up to a 30 year payback period. Read more

How to Care for our Urban Trees and the Park Strip

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Trees in the park strip are City-owned trees. Please do not alter these trees, which comprise SLC’s 85,000 strong urban forest. Our Division of Urban Forestry will prune, remove, and plant trees in the park strip. Call (801) 972-7818 to request service.

by Sydney Boogaard, SLCgreen intern

It’s a beautiful summer’s day as you walk through the neighborhood with your favorite furry friend at your side. The shade from the trees helps cool the summer heat as you pad along… sound like a lovely afternoon?  We think so. And we have our vibrant urban forest to say thank you to.

Our urban forest comprises nearly 85,000 public trees, including 63,000 street trees and 22,000 trees that reside in our city’s parks and open spaces. These indispensable trees are cared for and maintained by Salt Lake City’s Urban Forestry Division.

Why are Urban Forests Important?

A 2010 census reported that nearly eighty-one percent of Americans now live in urban centers. This means urban forests are becoming more important than ever. They provide essential benefits to our populations and wildlife. Urban trees contribute to cleaning our air, filtering our water, controlling storm water, conserving energy, and providing shade for us and our local animal life. Not to mention, they are aesthetically pleasing, strengthen social structures, and add significant economic value to our communities.

The majority of these trees are located in park strips. So, you may ask, what is the park strip, why is it there, and what do you do with it?

Read more

The Salt Lake City School District Saves Energy and Conserves Resources

By Ardyn Ford, SLCgreen intern

Welcome to SLCgreen Connections, an occasional series highlighting SLCgreen’s fantastic local partners—the people and organizations with whom we work closely to make Salt Lake City a greener, more vibrant, and sustainable city!

Greg Libecci of the Salt Lake City School District chronicles some of the achievements he’s helped realize after nine years as the Energy and Resource Manager for dozens of schools. His work led to the school district receiving a 2015 Mayor’s Skyline Challenge Award from Salt Lake City. Thanks for all you do Greg!

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Greg Libecci, right, stands near solar panels being installed at Hillside Middle School in Salt Lake City.

School’s out this week, but that doesn’t mean Greg Libecci takes the summer off.

His role as Energy and Resource Manager means he works year-round to identify and implement energy efficiency projects to save the Salt Lake City School District energy and money.

What led him to this role?

After several years of working in corporate sales for a telecom company, Greg began to notice energy waste everywhere. Things that were not being used were often left on, racking up unnecessary expenses and negatively impacting the environment.

He was certainly on to something with these observations, since the excessive consumption of energy resources worldwide is recognized as an important contributor to climate change.

Greg was drawn into the sustainability field because he saw how simple it could be to prevent unnecessary energy use. He was excited by the solvable nature of the problem.

When the Salt Lake City School District (SLCSD) created the Energy and Resource Manager position nine years ago in an effort to save the District money on utility costs, it seemed like the perfect opportunity for Greg to pursue his newfound passion for energy conservation.

Not only would he have the opportunity to directly implement important sustainability initiatives at a large organization, but he would also have the chance to work with students, something that remains an extremely rewarding part of his job.

Since Greg took the position, the school district has seen huge reductions in energy and natural gas use. In comparison with their baseline year of 2009, 2017 saw an 11% decrease in electricity use and a 23% decrease in natural gas usage.

This translates to a 4,400 ton reduction of CO2 emissions for 2017! Read more

Help Salt Lake City Advance Our Energy Goals

The Salt Lake City Sustainability Department is excited to launch a new pilot energy efficiency project for households and small businesses.

We are seeking an organization to partner and help lead this effort in our community.

Learn more about the project vision (referenced in the Mayor’s 2017 budget speech), along with details on how interested organizations can respond, through the below Request for Proposal (RFP) details.

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Salt Lake City Corporation Request for Proposal (RFP)

Read more

Coming Together on Climate

Mayors Climate Picture

Mayor Biskupski meets with local elected officials from across Utah to discuss policies to address climate change.

Last week, Mayor Biskupski brought together mayors and councilmembers from nine other Utah communities to discuss what local government can do to address climate change.

The latest data about fossil fuel consumption and associated pollution is deeply troubling. For the first time in hundreds of thousands of years, the Earth hit a monthly average of 410 parts per million (ppm) of CO2 in the atmosphere.

But we still have a window to act. That’s why it’s critical for local governments to drive policies that reduce energy consumption, catalyze renewable energy development, and transform our transportation sector.

In addition to creating our own plan, Climate Positive SLCwe need to work together to achieve the kind of change our planet and future requires.

That’s why the Mayor has taken leadership roles in a number of high-profile networks, including Sierra Club’s Mayors for 100% Clean EnergyClimate Mayors, and locally with Path to Positive Utah. She was also recently appointed to chair the Alliance for a Sustainable Future Committee of the U.S. Conference of Mayors.

It’s also important, as Utah’s capital city, for us to lead locally and share the expertise and experience we have with other cities and towns. We can and must be stronger together.

That was the intention behind last week’s meeting, which was co-hosted with the Salt Lake City chapter of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. It garnered interest from mayors and councilmembers from Utah cities and towns representing 750,000 residents which is 24 percent of the state’s total population.

READ MORE VIA THE MAYOR’S BLOG . . .