PRESS RELEASE: “Let’s Clear the Air” Air Quality Public Awareness Campaign Debuts

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PRESS RELEASE

23 January 2014

Contacts:

Robert Grow, President & CEO, Envision Utah – 801-694-4271 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Ari Bruening, COO, Envision Utah – 801-915-6159 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Let’s Clear the Air” Air Quality Public Awareness Campaign Debuts

As we suffer through yet another inversion, with still more red air quality days, almost everyone agrees that something needs to change. All of us—policymakers, businesses, industry leaders, and each and every one of us—need to take action if we want to clean the winter air that we all breathe.

At the request of Governor Gary Herbert, Envision Utah has been facilitating the Clean Air Action Team. Comprised of the leading experts on air quality from around the state, the team has been tasked with finding solutions to Utah’s air quality challenges. The group is looking at immediate actions that will make a meaningful difference, as well as a comprehensive approach that will include recommendations for policymakers, for businesses, for industry leaders, and for every one of us that breathes the pollution we all put in the winter air.

There are actions that can be taken today by each of us that will begin the process of improving the air we breathe. Envision Utah, along with its clean air partner UCAIR, is launching the “Let’s Clear the Air” public awareness campaign. Funded by a generous grant from the Governor’s Office of Economic Development, the “Let’s Clear the Air” campaign provides the public with different options they can commit to in their daily lives that will have an impact on our air quality. An interactive survey is available online for users to test their “Clean Air IQ” and links to air quality improvement resources are provided throughout the website.

The campaign will be seen through the end of winter across multiple platforms including billboards, television commercials, radio spots, online advertisements and through most social media outlets.

The “Let’s Clear the Air” campaign can be found online at www.cleartheairutah.org.

Not everyone can do everything, but everyone can do something. Join those who are making a difference and take these simple actions to help clear Utah’s air:

  1. Buy a car with a high smog rating. What we drive really matters. Vehicles cause more of our air pollution than anything else—as much as 57%, according to the Division of Air Quality. The next time you buy a car—new or used—check the smog rating. If you can, insist on a smog rating of 8, 9, or 10. You can check any car’s smog rating at http://epa.gov/greenvehicles. And if you have the choice, park any car older than 2004 during inversions. If you have modified your truck with a power chip, turn it off; that black smoke spewing from your tailpipe is as bad as it looks, and could even be violating the law.
  2. Don’t burn wood or coal. It is one of the worst things you can do for our air, and it’s even illegal for much of the winter. And the air quality is worst inside the home where the fire is. You can report those who burn by calling 385-468-3837 in Salt Lake County, or 801-536-4000 anywhere else.
  3. Don’t idle your car for more than 10 seconds. Whether you’re in the school pickup lane, the fast food drive-thru, or anywhere safe and appropriate, turn the car off. Cars aren’t designed to run efficiently while idling. And when kids are playing on the school playground next to where you’re idling, they’re breathing your fumes.
  4. Combine errands into one trip. Most car pollution comes from warming a cold engine when you first turn it on, so once your car is warm get as much done as you can. When you come out of the store and restart your car, it pollutes a lot less than during that first cold start.
  5. Turn your thermostat down and weatherproof your home. Believe it or not, your furnace contributes to our air pollution.
  6. Drive less. Work from home one day a week, ride public transportation, carpool, or do whatever you can to spend less time polluting. Even if you only limit your driving during winter inversions, you’re making a difference.

About Envision Utah

Envision Utah is a nonprofit public/private partnership that facilitates informed public involvement to explore solutions to the challenges presented by growth.  Their transparent grassroots approach inspires trust, gives residents a voice, and draws on public values. 

The Clean Air Action Team is one element of the Your Utah, Your Future process that is being led by Envision Utah at the request of Governor Herbert. Your Utah, Your Future is a collaborative effort to establish a vision together for our Utah and our future as we add another 2.5 million people by 2050. Learn more at www.envisionutah.org.  

Click here to download the press release.