Citizens Gather Post-Session to talk Air Quality

Smog & Pollution Hang Over The Salt Lake Valley
Smog & Pollution Hang Over The Salt Lake Valley

During the 2014 legislative session, the issue of air pollution mitigation hung over the halls of the Capitol Building much like the annual inversion. Legislation to clear the air, however, saw mixed results, with key pieces of legislation failing to make it to Governor Herbert’s desk.

At the start of the legislative session, an estimated 3,000 people rallied at the stairs of the People’s House to demand action on the issue. Their message was summarized in the name of the rally: Clean Air, No Excuses.

Now that the session is over, rally organizers are attempting to keep the conversation and energy focused on the issue by holding the first annual Utah Clean Air Fair.

Revolution United, a group that spearheaded the effort to unite individuals passionate about air quality along the Wasatch Front, asked various organizations to provide input on the best course of action citizens could take to continue to address air quality – the Utah Clean Air Fair was the agreed upon idea. The coalition of organizations include the Utah Chapter of The Sierra Club, Utah Moms for Clean Air, HEAL Utah, and Breathe Utah, among others.

“We want every individual that attends to feel empowered—to leave with solutions that are practical and easily translated into real life,” said Emmylou Manwill, Director of Community & Resource Development for Revolution United.

The fair itself is expected to draw more than 50 businesses and organizations, allowing them to showcase ideas designed to clear the air. Those who attend the fair will then be asked to vote on what they feel is the best idea to break up the inversion, and the highest vote receiver will be mentored on how to turn their idea into a reality.

“The Utah Clean Air Fair… is truly a community organized event. It’s the perfect atmosphere for bringing together diverse individuals, organizations and companies to address our toxic air problem, and do it in a fun way,” said Jim French, longtime Utah resident and key organizer of the Utah Clean Air Fair.

The event will be held at Library Square in downtown Salt Lake City this Saturday at noon. Keynote speakers will include Representative Patrice Arent (Democrat – Salt Lake City),

Dr. Kent Udell, Director of the Sustainability Research Center at the University of Utah, and Carl Ingwell, founder of CleanAirNow!, one of the principal groups behind the Clean Air, No Excuses rally.

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