The United States Environmental Protection Agency is set to propose lower standards for ozone levels. The proposal comes after health studies showed detectable negative health impacts from ozone at the current level of 75 parts per billion.
Utah Division of Air Quality Director Bryce Bird said the state would have to develop a new plan to regulate air standards if the proposal is approved.
One air quality bill proposed today suggests the State should not regulate CO2. Going against Gary Herbert’s campaign to clean up Utah’s air, a state representative said CO2 shouldn’t be defined as a contaminant.
A Utah legislator is pushing to define things like carbon dioxide and nitrogen as natural components of the atmosphere, not as pollutants. The bill, HB 229, was proposed on Tuesday to the House Natural Resources, Agriculture, and Environment Committee.
Rep. Jerry Anderson (R-Price) is a former science teacher. He said he is a sponsor of the bill, which would re-define what air contaminants mean, because carbon dioxide is an important part of photosynthesis.
The preservation of sage-grouse species in Utah was the topic of discussion at the Utah Sage-Grouse Summit on Tuesday afternoon.
Utah Gov. Gary Herbert spoke on the economic impact on Utah if certain sage-grouse populations came under the protection of the Endangered Species Act. He said $41.4 billion of economic development could be lost in the state's energy sector alone, which would impact more than 200,000 jobs.
Volunteers with the non-profit Raptor Inventory Nest Survey will become "citizen scientists" to troop around the state from March to June to count nesting birds of prey. RINS Director Robyn MacDuff says experience is not necessary to volunteer.
"We do quite an extensive field training, we have workshops where it's sort of a classroom setting, then we meet our volunteers in the field, and work with them in the field. A lot of times that isn't just one time."
For his living gallery project, Beijing artist Huang Xu is painting a kind of sci-fi solution of a city-wide air purifier. It’s not a practical solution, but for Huang Xu a solution created with brushstrokes is just as satisfying.
Utah’s winter air pollution often entices comparisons to Beijing, a city notorious for having off-the-chart smog levels, which is why a delegation of artists from China and Taiwan are in Salt Lake City this month to let Utah’s inversion inspire them. The project called “Beijing-SLC Connect” invites the artists to compare the pollution problems of these two cities through art.
Wasatch Brewery isn’t known for shying away from political issues. The Park City-based brewery and pub has come out with such beers as the 1st Amendment Lager, produced in protest of a beer tax, and Evolution Amber Ale, aimed at the teaching of intelligent design in the state’s classrooms.
Now, a new beer in support of gay marriage is available, just in time for Valentine’s Day.
Wasatch Founder and President Greg Schirf, said the new beer, titled “Live and Let Live”, is a pale ale with pairings of two types of malts, hops and yeasts.
A House committee unanimously approved a measure this week which would allow police to take DNA samples from people they arrest on suspicion of felony. Rep. Steve Eliason (R-Sandy), the major proponent of the bill, said genetic evidence is the modern form of police fingerprinting.
H.B. 212 changes the protocol of DNA information to be available at the time of arrest instead of after conviction.
On Wednesday, Utah's four elected Latino legislators met with the public at the Utah State Capitol to outline and discuss pieces of legislation they are introducing and supporting during this legislative session.
Matt Lyon, executive director of Utah's Democratic Party, said all of the Hispanic elected officials in the state belong to the Democratic Party. He said Utah Democrats are increasing efforts to encourage Latino residents to participate in politics. As director of the party, Lyon is concerned by figures that indicate 13 percent of residents living in Utah are Latino but make up only 6 percent of the electorate.
"Are we making sure that we are being representative and that we are supporting our diverse communities," said Lyon. "That we are supporting our Hispanic and Latino populations and making sure that they are getting the same opportunities that we are giving everybody else?"
Feb. 10-16 has been designated as national "Random Acts of Kindness Week." According to Rebecca Glathar of The National Alliance of Mental Illness of Utah, simple kindnesses, such as a smile, can save a life.
"There have been studies that have shown something as simple a smile has changed the mind of an individual who's considering taking their own life," Glathar said.
Founder of 365Aware, Braden Thompson, says he is grateful for the little opportunities- like when he passed a man carrying groceries up a hill in the cold.
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that Salt Lake City-based Prime Snax Inc. is recalling about 90,000 pounds of beef jerky products which have shipped around the country.
The recall has been issued because the jerky was processed with soy lecithin, an allergen not declared on the label. Utah State University Meat Scientist Jerrad Legako said soy lecithin helps create the good jerky texture.