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EPA awards Utah DEQ $12.7 million for air quality projects in Salt Lake City, Logan, and Provo

Targeted Airshed Grants to help communities reduce air pollution through clean diesel retrofits and wood stove change-out programs

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DENVER-  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing the Utah Department of Environmental Quality $12,739,500 in grants for projects in Salt Lake City, Logan and Provo to address air quality challenges along Utah’s Wasatch Front.  EPA’s “Targeted Airshed Grants” are authorized and funded by Congress to support local clean air projects in areas facing the highest levels of ground-level ozone and fine particulate matter (PM2.5), commonly known as smog and soot.

“These grants will enable states and local agencies to improve air quality in areas most affected by air pollution,” said EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt. “EPA is committed to supporting clean air projects that will reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas and enhance public health.”

“We continue to see air quality as the number one health concern for people living along the Wasatch Front,” said Governor Gary Herbert. “That’s why we are looking forward to partnering with the EPA. These targeted airshed grants, which give over $12 million to Utah cities, will play a significant role in helping to eliminate pollution by changing out wood-burning appliances and replacing outdated diesel trucks. We ask all Utahns to consider their impact on the environment, and to join Utah’s Department of Environmental Quality and the EPA in making the hard decisions that will help clean Utah’s air.”

EPA will provide Utah DEQ with grants to work with local governments on the following projects:

•          Logan, Utah – $3,184,875 to replace old diesel trucks with significantly less polluting models.  This project will provide rebates to replace diesel trucks with cleaner ones reducing emissions of nitrogen oxide, PM2.5, and volatile organic compounds.

•          Logan, Utah; Provo, Utah; and Salt Lake City, Utah– $3,184,875 each to support wood-burning appliance change-outs projects in Logan, Provo and Salt Lake City to reduce residential wood smoke.  These projects will reduce residential wood smoke emissions by changing out uncontrolled wood-burning appliances with either gas or propane heating appliances, replacing uncertified wood stoves/inserts with EPA-certified wood-burning units, and removing uncertified wood-stoves/inserts.  

“These grants will collectively reduce hundreds of tons of harmful pollutants from wood burning sources and vehicles in Utah every year,” said EPA Region 8 Administrator Doug Benevento. “EPA will continue to find ways to support Utah DEQ and help Utah communities address air quality challenges along the Wasatch Front.”

"We are pleased to receive these airshed grants, which will supplement our continuing efforts to protect public health by improving air quality," said Alan Matheson, executive director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality. "The work funded by these grants will go a long way to reduce pollution in Utah communities from wood burning and diesel equipment." 

”We appreciate the EPA for helping Salt Lake City homeowners make the transition to cleaner burning fireplaces,” said Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski. “This means homeowners with fireplaces and their neighbors will be able to breath cleaner air here on the Wasatch Front, which can make a big difference during inversions.”

“Air quality is a key issue for the health of our citizens and for future economic development,” said City of Logan Mayor Holly Daines.  “We are pleased to receive over $6 million in EPA grant funds to help reduce diesel emissions by replacing older trucks as well as to change out wood burning appliances, both of which create a significant impact on our Cache Valley airshed.”

EPA received funding in the 2010, 2015, and 2016 Appropriations Acts to reduce air pollution in the nation’s areas with the highest levels of ozone or fine particulate matter exposure. In the 2017 Consolidated Appropriations Act, Congress again directed $30 million to EPA for competitive grants to reduce air pollution in nonattainment areas that the Agency determined were ranked as the top five most polluted areas relative to ozone, annual PM2.5, or 24-hour PM2.5 standards.

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