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Friday, March 21, 2008

Pollution Waning in Utah?

While many groups have been disputing the proposed Mountain View Corridor, the Wasatch Front Regional Council has released information indicating that automobile pollution is down in Utah. The report which can be found at attributes the trend to stricter EPA standards, cleaner engines, more mass transit options and increased awareness. I definitely consider this good news. I personally attribute the lower pollution to gas prices forcing residents to buy low emission vehicles. These new cars use less energy and go much further than their older counterparts. This is confirmed by the fact that a car in 1966 produced 57 times the amount of emissions than a car made in 2004. According to the report 51% of the harmful particulates in the air come from vehicles. These particulates are harmful to children especially those with asthma. With future solutions such as mass transit, ultra low emission vehicles, and tougher government standards, pollution in Utah will trend downward to a point that will be comfortable for us all.

One matter that was not strongly addressed was Carbon Dioxide or CO2 emissions. This gas is the primary culprit for depleting the Ozone layer. Locally we have a limited impact on our global atmosphere, but every bit counts right? Some things that we can do as residents are:

1. Make sure your car that you drive is in optimal shape. This means checking the tire pressure, getting a tune-up, and avoid stomping on the gas when the light changes to green.

2. Combine trips and people. When you do drive, carpool and try to squeeze all of your errands into one trip.

3. Walk and bike everywhere that you can. Considering the design of Daybreak, this will be much easier for us to do.

4. Trees. Trees filter the air and reduce home energy costs if you plant them in the right place. Planting a deciduous tree on the South side of your house shades windows from the sun in the summer and allows the sun to warm the house in the winter.

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