Expensive EPA measures will do little to reduce Southwest haze

By Matthew Anderson Last month the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) only partially accepted Utah’s regional plan for reducing haze in the Southwest’s national parks. Deeming the state’s plan insufficient, the EPA plans to impose its own measures aimed at reducing nitrogen oxide emitted from Utah’s coal plants. “We are disappointed with the decision,” said Bryce Bird, director of the Utah Division of Air Quality, “because the Utah plan relied on sound science and common sense, improving visibility at a reasonable cost to Utah ratepayers.” Bird is right. Not only does…

Bravo for Supreme Court’s stay on EPA power grab

In a surprising 5-4 vote, the Supreme Court abruptly halted President Obama’s controversial power plant regulations, dealing a blow to the Clean Power Plan. The court’s order states that the EPA’s carbon pollution emission guidelines are to be put on hold pending a decision from a federal court of appeals. It is rare for the Supreme Court to intervene in a pending case, indicating that most of the justices have concerns over the plan’s legality. This temporary freeze suggests there is a “fair prospect” the court will strike down the…

Senator Mike Lee defends the earmark ban

Scattered around the country there are more than 1,300 Superfund Sites. These are areas where significant pollution exists and where (usually) no one is legally responsible for cleaning it up. Most of these sites are isolated, are buffered from the larger environment by natural or man-made coverings, and pose no threat to the surrounding populace (if any). The Environmental Protection Agency maintains a list of these sites, and in the fullness of time is supposed to get around to cleaning them up. (The times will be very full indeed at…

EPA Spurns Public Comment, State Input: Finalizes WOTUS Rule [UPH Wire]

[image: cid:image001.png@01D0358E.1F8EBA20] *Contact: **Joe Spiering* <joe.spiering@mail.house.gov> *(202) 225-2311 <%28202%29%20225-2311>* *EPA Spurns Public Comment, State Input: Finalizes WOTUS Rule* *Washington, D.C. (May 27, 2015) *– Today in spite of thousands of public comments raising serious concerns, including from governors and on-the-ground stakeholders throughout the country, the Environmental Protection Agency has finalized the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) rule. This rule marks an unprecedented federal seizure of management and control over waters previously under state jurisdiction. In response, Western Caucus Chairman *Cynthia Lummis* (WY-at large) issued the following statement: “It is…

Between a Rock and a Hard Place: The EPA Rule on Ozone Levels and the Intermountain West

The EPA Rule on Ozone Levels Recently, the US Environmental Protection Agency (the “EPA”) published an administrative rule that requires states to lower atmospheric ozone levels to 60-70 parts per billion. For states in the Intermountain West, where the level of naturally occurring ozone (or “background concentrations”) routinely reaches 60 – 75 ppb, it’s going to be tough to comply. According to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration-led research, it’s not a problem limited to inversion prone valleys like Salt Lake and Cache. “We expected we were going to see intrusions big enough, individual events, which would…

The EPA vs. the Fourth of July

Yesterday, ten senators, including Utah senators Mike Lee and Orrin Hatch, signed a letter sent to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Administrator Gina McCarthy to renounce the EPA’s proposed rule to expand the agency’s jurisdiction over water.  The letter cites several cases where environmental lawsuits threatened to end Fourth of July fireworks displays in San Diego, Lake Tahoe, and Lake Murray.  If the EPA’s power is expanded as anticipated under their proposed rule, then their expanded scope of jurisdiction could threaten an even broader range of fireworks displays.

How to Ultimately Fix the Air Quality in Utah

Air Quality Better Anyone who has to deal with asthma or any of the multitudes of other respiratory illnesses can tell you that the air quality here in Utah is an issue.  Even those individuals who don’t have any health issues can just look outside on an inverted afternoon and practically taste the poor air quality.  However, when we look out at the valley on those dreaded “red” days, we all make the inevitable assumption that the air quality is much worse today than it was when we were growing…