Utah lawmakers unveil air quality proposals

FILE - This Jan. 4, 2013, file photo, shows the haze from an inversion hanging over downtown Salt Lake City. A study from the University of Utah shows people drive more on days when bad air quality alerts are issued even though the system was created to limit use of cars. Professor Harvey Miller, author of the study, says 10 years of state traffic counter data shows more cars going up mountain canyons on days in which state officials issued bad air alerts. Miller believes people are escaping the murky air for the clean air of the nearby Wasatch Mountains. (AP Photo/Rick Bowmer, File)

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) – A group of Utah lawmakers says they’re planning to tackle the state’s pollution problems with more than a dozen proposals this year.

Members of the Clean Air Caucus unveiled the legislation during a news conference at Utah’s state Capitol on Wednesday afternoon.

The group says they’re concerned about the damage poor air quality causes to the health of Utah residents and the state’s economy.

The problem is exacerbated in the winter and summer as high-pressure systems trap polluted air in northern Utah’s bowl-shaped valleys.

Rep. Patrice Arent, a Salt Lake City Democrat and co-chair of the group, says lawmakers are serious about tackling the problem.

She says the proposals look to increase the use of cleaner vehicles and public transit, tackle issues as wood burning and boost public awareness.

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