SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (News4Utah) – Utah Clean Air Partnership, or UCAIR, held it’s annual fundraiser which featured Hall of Fame basketball start Bill Walton. The event aims to raise money for programs which clear up Utah’s air problems. The group notes it will take harder work for future progress.
Thom Carter is the Executive Director of UCAIR and notes their private/public partnerships are showing results. Efforts to get people to get rid of wood burning stoves, and the green bike program have helped reduce air pollution.
With the warmer weather there have been less inversions and red air days. Carter said groups and people have to push forward with their efforts.
"If we don’t shift our behaviors even when the air is good," said Carter. "Then we’re not making the changes necessary for when the air is bad."
Many agree that the recent steps by UCAIR were the "low handing fruit" for clean air solutions. The next steps will be considerably harder and take more effort.
Lt. Governor Spencer Cox said public transit is a major solution to the air problem. He notes it needs serious adjustments so it works for more people.
"It shouldn’t take you twice as long to get to take transit to get to work so we’re definitely working through that," said Lt. Gov. Cox.
Bringing on Tier 3 fuels for cars, and trying to have a better electric vehicle charging network are also steps in the works.
Gov. Gary Herbert said he’s also impressed by the progress that’s been made so far. He notes the the air quality issues will take solutions at all levels.
"All of us have a role to play," said Gov. Herbert. "This is not just industry not just commercial. A lot of it is our tailpipes, but all of us even in our homes and what we can do in our individual lives can help."
UCAIR was originally formed by Gov. Herbert five years ago, but later turned into it’s own entity. The group now teams up with private and public groups to study and give grants to find solutions to the problem.