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Posts tagged ‘air quality’

How to Improve Summertime Air Quality

Many of us associate bad air– yucky inversions and hazy gunk– with winter in the Salt Lake area. But did you know that we have bad air days in the summer too?

While it’s mostly invisible, ozone is just as harmful as particulate matter for the very young, very old, those with health conditions, and people who exercise outdoors.

Ozone is caused by emissions from vehicles, industry, and a multitude of chemical products which interact with sunlight and high temperatures.

So how can we reduce ozone?  Read more

U Drive Program Puts 127 New Electric Vehicles on the Road

You may remember how excited we were to collaborate with Utah Clean Energy and the University of Utah on the second round of U Drive Electric this fall.

The goal: Get more EV’s on the road to promote cleaner air.

The how: By spreading the word about the limited-time bulk discounts available through the University of Utah’s innovative program.

Over the course of September and October, we worked with the U. and Utah Clean Energy to speak with hundreds of people about what “going electric” really means– including how cost-effective owning an electric vehicle is.

Now that this round has wrapped up, we’re excited to announce that 127 electric vehicles were purchased through U Drive Electric II!

When combined with Round I there are now over 200 new electric vehicles on the road thanks to U Drive Electric. These new EV owners have taken an important step towards improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.

  • Electric vehicles produce up to 99% less of the criteria air pollutants that cause bad air quality. With winter inversion season upon us it’s easy to see the importance of driving electric.
  • Furthermore, the EVs purchased through U Drive Electric will significantly reduce green house gas emissions. The carbon dioxide avoided over the next five years is equivalent to not burning nearly 2 million pounds of coal, or 200,000 gallons of gasoline.
  • Put another way, this is like switching 63,000 incandescent bulbs to LEDs, or the equivalent amount of carbon sequestered by 1,700 acres of forest in one year. 
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Testimonials from U Drive Electric participants can be found at utahev.org

Read more

U Drive Electric Extended through November 30th

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Our winter time inversion season is here, but this year Utah will have more clean, electric cars on the road that are helping to improve our air quality through the U Drive Electric program. The University of Utah’s U Drive Electric program has facilitated the sale of 92 electric and plug-in-hybrid cars in the last six weeks. Due to the popularity of the program, U Drive Electric has been extended through Nov. 30, 2016. The program is offered through a collaboration between the university, Salt Lake City and Utah Clean Energy.

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Salt Lake City Community Members Launch U Drive Electric

 

In a joint press conference, the University of Utah and Salt Lake City today announced the launch of an electric vehicle purchase program extending discounts on multiple makes and models of vehicles. The second round of U Drive Electric offers U community members and Salt Lake City community members the opportunity to purchase or lease electric and plug-in-hybrid vehicles at discounted prices through Oct. 31, 2016.

This joint program is aimed at improving air quality and community health both today and for future generations. With almost 50 percent of Utah’s urban air pollution coming from tailpipe emissions, electric vehicles represent an important tool for improving air quality along the Wasatch Front.
Read more

Help Salt Lake City Chart a Path Toward Cleaner Air

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The American Lung Association just released their 2016 State of the Air report which compares the air quality in cities across the nation. Unfortunately the report shows that the Salt Lake City area has moved from #7 to #6 on the list of “most polluted” cities. That’s bad news!

Poor air quality is now recognized as an urgent public health and economic development issue, which threatens continued growth of local businesses and relocation of residents and businesses to the City. In addition to being energy efficient in our homes, improving energy efficiency in our big buildings plays an important role in contributing to cleaner air.

The good news is that making our buildings more efficient is a key strategy to help reduce local air pollution and carbon emissions that contribute to climate change. Building efficiency investments also save money by reducing utility costs, keeping money in our local economy. As Utah’s Capitol City, Salt Lake City is committed to leading by example by implementing building efficiency best practices in our municipal facilities. Salt Lake City municipal departments regularly evaluate and implement energy-saving best practices in all major City facilities.

Salt Lake City wants input from residents and local businesses about what kind of new programs and policies the City should pursue to help reduce the pollution that stems from commercial buildings across the City. On Open City Hall we’ve outlined some common best-practices for increasing energy efficiency in buildings. Learn more and share your feedback here! Let’s clean up our air together!

Visit Open City Hall

The State of Salt Lake City’s Air

-As I have said before, there is nothing more important than the air we breathe. And working to clear our skies is a top priority of my administration.- (1)

Today the American Lung Association released its 17th annual State of the Air report, which ranks the air quality in our nation’s cities and counties. Salt Lake City, Provo and Orem ranked 6th for short-term particulate exposure.

Mayor Biskupski has announced an aggressive air quality platform that aims to drastically reduce pollution through improving energy efficiency in buildings, increasing use of renewable energy like solar, sourcing cleaner vehicles, and creating a robust clean air network focused on advancing clean air legislation.

Join the City of Salt Lake and do your part to reduce pollution!

Stay informed.

Take action even on voluntary air days. This is when we have the best chance to keep our air cleaner, longer – especially when we know that an inversion has set up in the valley.

Skip and reduce trips.
 

  • Aim to leave your car parked, one more day a week. Modern vehicles emit the vast majority of trip pollution in those first two minutes on the road. Skipping car trips by using public transportation, arranging a carpool or other alternatives make a measurable impact.
  • On days you must drive, chain your trips together to reduce “cold start” pollution.

Explore Salt Lake City on public transit. Ride UTA can help you plan your next transit adventure.

Commit to being idle free! This is one of the easiest things you can do to have a positive impact. Idling wastes gas and money and adds unnecessary pollution into our air. Plus when you idle, you’re exposing yourself and your passengers to higher levels of harmful pollutants.

Skip the fire! Burning wood, whether in your fireplace or fire pit, has a huge impact on our air quality. One fireplace can emit as much particulate pollution as 90 sport utility vehicles.

Get active. Biking is a great way to get some exercise and limit your impact on air quality. The Bicycle Collective shares some great tips in this UCAIR spotlight.

Take the Clear the Air Challenge!  Find new ways to drive down your miles and measure your impact.

Increase the energy efficiency of your home.

  • Weatherize your home, and cash in on Rocky Mountain Power and Questar Adding insulation and upgrading your windows will not only save you money on your utility bills, it will keep your home warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.
  • Upgrade your furnace and water heater. Rebates are available for residents who upgrade their furnace and water heaters. Water heaters are a significant source of NOx emissions and that adds to Utah’s wintertime PM 2.5, problem.
  • Swap out your lightbulbs to LEDs. By replacing your home’s five most frequently used light fixtures or bulbs with ENERGY STAR rating, you can save $75 each year.

 Opt for people powered or electric tools for yard work. 

  • Get exercise while doing yard work by using push mowers instead of gas powered lawn mowers. According to the U.S. EPA, a new gas lawn mower produces as many VOCs and NOx emissions in in in one hour as 11 new cars.
  • Not able to use a push mower or manual tools? Look for electric alternatives to mowers, leaf blowers and weed whackers.

Install Solar! Installing solar on your home does not have to be overly complex or costly. Check out Solar Simplified and find out how to start the process. If you aren’t able to install rooftop solar, keep an eye out for Rocky Mountain Power’s Subscriber Solar program launching soon!

 

 

 

 

Mayor Jackie Biskupski signs amicus brief in defense of President Barack Obama’s Clean Power Plan

Today, Mayor Jackie Biskupski joined more than 50 city and county governments from 28 states in signing an amicus brief in defense of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Clean Power Plan.

“I signed this brief on behalf of Salt Lake City because the effects of climate change are real, but so are the solutions,” said Mayor Biskupski. “The EPA estimates that the Clean Power Plan will reduce the pollutants that contribute to smog by more than 25 percent, a change that will benefit everyone along the Wasatch Front, especially during our increasingly dangerous winter inversion season.”

The brief, filed in federal court today, argues the administration’s plan is critical to the safety and economic security of local communities across the United States. Signatories of the brief represent a diverse geographic, economic, and political mix. In all, the signatories represent 51 localities, home to more than 18 million Americans.

“Climate change challenges our very way of life in Salt Lake City. Increasing temperatures and a shorter winter season are resulting in less snow, threatening not only our billion dollar ski industry, but the water we need to keep up with our population growth,” said Mayor Biskupski. “My administration is committed to strengthening our actions in cleaning our air. This week I asked our city’s Department of Sustainability to work with mayors and cities across the Wasatch Front to provide any resources we can to help them join this fight.”

The full brief is available here: http://web.law.columbia.edu/climate-change/clean-power-plan-amicus-brief