by Lindsay Gough
on Wednesday, February 4th, 2015 at 7:55am.
The Utah State legislature is currently in the middle of their 2015 session, and one of the big issues is clean air, again. While St. George and surrounding Southern Utah don’t deal with the inversion and pollution that’s such an issue in Salt Lake City, DSU Sustainability Club President would like the region to be proactive in its fight against pollution.
How St. George Residents Can Reduce Pollution
Last Saturday, the DSU Sustainability club held a rally on campus to accompany similar rallies going on around the state. Anderson told St. George News that he hopes DSU students and St. George residents can implement greener habits. “If we get more students riding bikes than using cars,” he told St. George News, “that’s helping the air.”
Anderson hopes that bike sharing, recycling, and other sustainability practices to be implemented in the community.
While St. George isn’t experiencing the pollution and inversion affecting other parts of the state, the continual growth and development in the area could change air quality conditions quickly. To avoid following the traditions of Salt Lake City and Utah’s other urban centers, St. George residents could implement the following ideas, provided by the EPA, into their regular routines.
Conserve energy by turning off lights and appliances when not in use
Buy Energy Star efficient products
Walk and use public transportation whenever possible
Don’t let cars idle. Turn off the engine when not in use.
Keep your car tuned up and running efficiently
Fill gas tanks during cooler hours, especially during the summer, to avoid evaporation.
These tips can help St. George residents can help keep Southern Utah’s air clean.
How State Government is Trying to Help
Meanwhile, in Salt Lake City, Governor Herbert has come out in support of a HB79, that would invest $28 million in clean air initiatives. This includes $20 million to replace old school buses with cleaner models.
The Deseret News reported on the bill that also includes tax incentives for using alternative fuel and stronger penalties for activities that increase pollution. This issue has become a source of bipartisanship, with 25 Republicans and Democrats coming out in support during a recent news conference.
To help small companies afford these changes, Utah is implementing the Air Assist program that includes $1.3 million in grants to help companies implement more environment-friendly practices.
St. George can learn a lot from the mistakes of Salt Lake. As the city grows and expands, implementing clean air and sustainability practices can help reduce pollution now and in the future. This is better for the health and well being of St. George residents.