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Idle Free conference stresses way to clean up Utah’s air

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Amy Joi O’Donoghue, Deseret News

WEST VALLEY CITY — The message to turn the key and be idle-free was delivered to multiple fleet managers during a Tuesday conference as the push to clean up the Wasatch Front’s air continues to gain momentum.

Robin Erickson, executive director of Utah Clean Cities and a former fleet manager, told the crowd at the second annual Idle Free Fleets Conference to be unafraid to give gentle reminders to strangers if a vehicle is seen idling.

“If everyone idled just five minutes less a day, it would (eliminate) 1.6 million tons of particulate matter,” Erickson said.

The all-day conference at the Hale Center Theatre included breakout sessions on government and municipalities, business and industry, as well as education.

Alan Matheson, Gov. Gary Herbert’s environmental adviser, said the Wasatch Front meets the federal clean air standard 95 percent of the time, but the goal should be to meet that standard all the time.

“We are not where we where we need to be,” he said.

Matheson noted a variety of steps being taken that are aimed at cleaning up the air, including:

  • The passage of 26 new regulations on everything from degreasing operations to consumer products by the Utah Air Quality Board.
  • New industrial controls that will reduce emissions by 2,000 tons at refineries and by 4,600 tons at other industries.
  • Federal vehicle standards and transportation plans that will reduce vehicle emissions by half by 2019.
  • A media campaign called “Let’s Clear the Air” is slated to debut, funded by a $500,000 allocation from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development.
  • Herbert’s budget request that includes $18 million in air quality-related spending (…)

To read more, please visit the Deseret News.