***Note: this bill has been substituted, this analysis may no longer be valid***
Representative Patrice Arent (Democrat – Millcreek) is continuing her years-long push for higher pollution control standards this legislative session with HB 38 – Sustainability Amendments.
The bill, quite simply, would require the governor to tap a Sustainability Director, who’s role would be to work with other state agencies to create sustainable programs and policies designed to reduce the environmental impact the state makes on our environment.
Presumably, the Sustainability Director would work to upgrade automotive fleets, upgrading office equipment to be more energy efficient, and implementing more comprehensive recycling programs designed to divert waste from the state’s landfills.
The impact of comprehensive sustainability plans could be quite large. Utah’s state budget is expected to be over $11 billion in 2015, accounting for roughly 10 percent of total production within the state, decreases in pollution and increases in efficiency standards could have a great impact on the states overall pollution impact. By placing someone at the head of the operation, real, comprehensive action could take place.
This is part of a suite of bills Arent intends to run that are designed to improve Utah’s environment. Arent has already published HB 19 – Electric Vehicle Battery Charging Service Amendments, and other potential bills listed include “Clean Air Programs,” and “Joint Resolution Endorsing Tier III Standards for Air Quality.”
Over the years, Arent has become a leader in fighting Utah’s dirty air. In the past she has passed bills that require government agencies to report their plans to reduce air pollution and report on such progress. She has also attempted to pass legislation that would have created a task force specifically designed to address air quality.
During the 2012-2013 inversion season, there were a total of 35 mandatory “no burn” days and 14 voluntary “no burn” days in Salt Lake and Davis County—equating to roughly one in four days during the winter season when the air posed a risk to citizens health. As of December 12th, Utah County has had three mandatory no burn days, while Salt Lake, Davis, and Cache have had two.
To contact Representative Arent, click here or call 801-272-1956.
Impact on Average Utahn:
High Impact 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 No Impact
Need for Legislation:
Necessary 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 Unnecessary
Sound Legislation 5 . 4 . 3 . 2 . 1 . 0 Clunker