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Advancing Utah's Energy Future

Photo courtesy of Mike Vanden Berg, UGS


Air Quality

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Overview

The Uinta Basin is a rural area of northeastern Utah comprised mostly of Uinta and Duchesne Counties where the approximately 75 percent of the state’s oil and gas production occurs. Oil and gas production and related activities provide much needed jobs for the Uinta Basin and other economic benefits for the state.

Airquality_DEQwebsiteEmissions from this type of development can have an adverse impact on air quality. It is important for human health, the environment, and continued oil and gas development to address and mitigate air quality issues in the Uinta Basin and other parts of rural Utah. Ozone concentrations in excess of the current national air quality standard have been measured in the Basin during the winter.

These high ozone levels are only observed in the Basin during winter inversion periods when the ground is covered by snow; ozone levels outside of these periods have remained below the air quality standard and conditions resulting in exceedances of the standard do not occur every year. In order to permit more wells and operations in the Uinta Basin the producers need to show a decrease in compounds that form ground level ozone.  Click here for more information.

OED’s Role

OED staff helps to bring a variety of industry players and other political subdivisions, most notably the Ute Tribe, to the table with state regulators, facilitating a degree of cooperation that will be essential as the state strives to balance its economic and environmental interests.