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Posts tagged ‘UCAIR’

Avoid the Cold Start

We’re in the midst of a yucky inversion. At one point on Monday, the amount of particulate pollution crossed the 55.5 microgram/cubic meter threshold, which puts us in the red category of “Unhealthy” territory.

Dec 11 Air Quality

Air quality conditions and forecasts are available at http://air.utah.gov

Unfortunately, our weather patterns and geography mean we have to work extra hard to reduce what goes into the air.

One of the simplest things you can do is to leave the car at home.

Did you know that the majority of pollution comes when you simply turn your car on?

It’s the phenomenon of “Cold Starts.”

It means that 60-90% of your commute’s emissions come in the first three minutes. Pretty incredible, huh?

You can learn more about cold starts from UCAIR’s great blog post and video below.

So what can you do? Well, aim to keep your car parked as frequently as possibleeven if it’s just for a day, or a single trip you’re skipping

Cold-Starts

How to avoid the Cold Start: Read more

Inversion Season is Here — Here’s What You Can Do

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We’re getting into dirty air season. Our first big inversion is starting this week and is expected to last awhile.

What this means is that a high pressure system is setting up, trapping cold air on the valley floors– and with it all the pollution we collectively emit. Pollution doubles every day during inversions— and it can get yucky.

Salt Lake City is committed to reducing emissions and helping our community breathe easier.

But we need your help. 

A significant source of pollution comes from our cars (roughly 50%), as well as our homes and buildings (roughly 35%). That means each of us can make a difference to our air quality.

This winter, the SLC Sustainability Department will be pushing out regular air quality tips and reminders.

Please join us! Follow along on social media and right here on our blog.  We also encourage you to join our email list to have tips delivered right to your inbox.

Share, repost, and demonstrate your commitment to clearing the air.

The top three things you can do this winter are listed in the graphic above. Click here for more information.

  1. Drive Less— aim to increase your #CarFreeDays to have the most impact. Make use of the Hive Pass if you live in Salt Lake City.
  2. Be Idle Free
  3. Skip the wood burning

Read more

How’s the Air Quality at Your Home?

During the winter, when high pressure rolls in, pollution builds up.

Specifically pollution called PM2.5 which are tiny particles that actually obscure our view of the mountains and even of neighboring buildings on bad days.

The Division of Air Quality operates monitors at several locations across the Wasatch Front, but pollution concentrations can vary depending on where exactly you’re located. Contributing factors include:

  • Do you live next to a road?
  • Do you have a neighbor who frequently fires up their meat smoker or burns wood?
  • Is there a nearby restaurant or small business that releases precursor pollutants?
  • On top of all those factors– what is happening with the particular mix of geography and weather at your location?

Air quality science is complex.

But gaining a better understanding of pollution nuances across the valley can help policy makers make better decisions, and can help residents better protect themselves. Read more

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

Provo City Launches Provo Clean Air Toolkit

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As we’ve discussed previously, we think cities are hotbeds of sustainability solutions.

Here’s another example from our friends to the south: Provo’s Clean Air Toolkit.

In 2014, Provo was awarded a grant by Utah Clean Air Partnership (UCAIR) to pursue this project. The toolkit’s goal is to present local residents and businesses with a centralized list of strategies they can use to achieve cleaner air in Utah County, and to make clean air the common goal of Provo City’s strategic planning and operations.

You can check it out at www.provocleanair.org.   As you’ll see, it offers a comprehensive guide for individuals, businesses, and municipalities to use to reduce air pollutants, as well as helpful statistics and infographics detailing projections for air quality over the next few decades.

provo

Read more

Community electric cars come to University of Utah

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Exciting news from our friends at the University of Utah today! They have announced a new bulk purchase program that offers steep discounts on an array of electric vehicles. Read on for details – SLCgreen

The University of Utah is the first university in the country to sponsor a community-level electric vehicle purchase program that includes discounts on multiple makes and models.

U Community Drive Electric offers members of the U community, including faculty, staff, students, alumni and campus guests in Salt Lake, Summit, Weber, Tooele, Utah and Davis counties, the opportunity to purchase or lease electric vehicles at a discount of 5 percent to 20 percent off of MSRP. The limited-time program launches today, Dec. 14, and runs through Dec. 31, 2015.

Car dealers are able to offer a discount because these types of community programs tend to generate more customers in close proximity during a specific timeframe. There are three participating car dealers: BMW of Murray, Larry H. Miller Ford Lincoln – Sandy and Tim Dahle Nissan of Murray.

There will be a community workshop with questions and answers, Thursday, Dec. 17, 6-7:30 p.m. at the University of Utah Spencer Fox Eccles Business Building on the 7th floor, 7170.

This program is part of the university’s goal to implement creative solutions to lessen its environmental impact and to improve conditions for the community and 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.

“We are excited to support U community members’ access to emissions-reducing cars that will improve air quality,” said University of Utah Chief Sustainability Officer Amy Wildermuth.

To offer this incentive, the Sustainability Office is partnering with Utah Clean Energy, a nonprofit, public interest organization that works to drive the transition to a clean energy future. The program is enabled by a generous grant from Utah Clean Air Partnership, or UCAIR, which encourages businesses, government agencies and nonprofit organizations to invest in emissions-reducing and energy-efficient technologies.

“This is a terrific program recognizing the positive impact electric cars can have on air quality,” said UCAIR Director Ted Wilson. “I congratulate the University of Utah and Utah Clean Energy for forming a strong program making electric cars more economical to buy. Once owned, they are clean and simple with almost no maintenance. In other words, both economically smart and a fine contribution to better air.”

“The support of UCAIR is key to U Community Drive Electric,” said Wildermuth. “This unique opportunity will allow individuals to make a meaningful difference for our local community and will serve as a model to others for what is possible. Reducing tailpipe emissions is just one of the many ways we are working to improve local air quality. With UCAIR support and partnership with Utah Clean Energy, we hope to help make a significant contribution.”

In addition to increasing awareness about electric vehicles’ impact on Utah’s air quality, the organizers of U Drive Electric hope to connect the benefits of combining solar power with electric vehicles.

“Fully electric vehicles have no tailpipe,” said Utah Clean Energy Executive Director Sarah Wright. “They eliminate 99 percent of the smog-producing volatile organic compounds, carbon monoxide and sulfur dioxide emitted by gas-fueled cars in our airshed. And when powered by solar energy, they are truly pollution free.”

U Drive Electric will also include plug-in hybrids to provide an opportunity for people who require a longer-range option to participate in the program. Including these vehicles maximizes the choices for consumers, which will ultimately help even more community members reduce their pollution.

Participating community members will sign up for the program with Utah Clean Energy at www.udriveelectric.org. Once registered, participants work directly with any of the selected dealers to purchase the electric car of their choice. Participants must sign a contract before Dec. 31, 2015, to guarantee the discount.

For more information about the U Community Drive Electric program, visit www.udriveelectric.org.

About Sustainability at the University of Utah
The University of Utah is committed to integrating sustainability across all areas of the institution, including academics, operations and administration. Additionally, the university is supporting sustainability efforts and research under the Sustainability Office to better streamline initiatives and collaboration across campus.

About UCAIR
UCAIR is a statewide clean air partnership created to make it easier for individuals, businesses and communities to make small changes to improve Utah’s air quality. Every small change adds to a collective bigger step toward better health, a better economy and better overall quality of life for all of us.

About Utah Clean Energy
Utah Clean Energy is Utah’s leading expert public interest organization working to expand renewable energy and energy efficiency in a way that is beneficial not only for Utah’s environment and health, but also our economy and long-term energy security. Utah Clean Energy is committed to creating a future that ensures healthy, thriving communities for all, empowered and sustained by clean energies such as solar, wind and energy efficiency.

Exchange your old gas can (for free!) on Saturday, April 11

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Exchange your old empty 2.5 or 5 gallon gas can for a free, brand new, environmentally friendly can of equal size!

UCAIR and Chevron are exchanging over 4,500 gas cans. That’s equivalent to eliminating 540 cars off Utah’s roads per day over the 5-year life of each gas can. Making this small change can have large impact on our air quality. Together we can make a difference in Utah’s air quality.

The Gas Can Exchange Program will be the first of its kind in Utah and help our state come into compliance with the EPA standard.

The event will be held on April 11, 2015 from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. at the following locations:

  • 2100 S. 300 W., Salt Lake City, Chevron Station
  • 1997 E. 3500 N., Layton, Davis Landfill
  • 1855 Skyline Dr., South Ogden, Chevron Station
  • 1200 Towne Center Blvd., Provo Towne Center Mall

Why exchange your old can? Old gas cans contribute to volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions by:

  • Permeation of vapors through walls of containers.
  • Escaping fumes while fuel is being dispensed.
  • Spillage and over filling as fuel is being poured into equipment.
  • Spillage and evaporation through secondary vent holes.
  • Evaporation through inadequately capped spouts.

The new cans have several improvements including:

  • Automatic shut-off feature to prevent overfilling.
  • Automatic closing feature.
    • Sealed when it is not in use.
    • Prevents leaking vapors.
    • Protects children from accidental spills and ingestion.
    • Secondary venting holes are eliminated to stop venting of fumes into the air.
    • Thicker walls to reduce vapor permeation.

Please contact Angie at coordinator@ucair.org if you have any questions about the gas can exchange.

Source: http://www.ucair.org/hot_topics/ucair-chevron-gas-can-exchange/