Advocates Call on EPA to Not Delay Utah’s Clean Air Planning and Action

Clean air advocacy groups submitted a joint letter to EPA Region 8, urging the administrator to reject a proposed rule that would delay by 18 months the plan that will chart how Utah will clean its air.

Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment, Utah Chapter of Sierra Club and Western Resource Advocates signed a letter explaining to EPA that the new proposed rule (EPA-RO8-OAR-2015–342) was the wrong policy for public health and the environment. Public comment on the EPA proposed rule is due December 9th 2015 and the new rule, if adopted, would take effect before the end of the year.

Specifically, EPA is proposing to declare Utah a “Serious” non-attainment area and to postpone by one year and a half when Utah’s complete “Serious” State Implementation Plan for particulate matter (PM2.5) would be due. Fine particulate air pollution leads to premature death, heart attacks, strokes and other serious health impacts. Advocates called on the EPA to require Utah to finalize and submit its Serious State Implementation Plan no later than June 2017.  To meet federal standards no later than December 2019, the state needs as much time as possible to implement the new plan. Groups cited that there was no justification for a new EPA rule delaying planning and action in Utah.