The Utah Republican caucus is deeply divided over the issue of air quality, with Governor Gary Herbert at odds with the Speaker of the House Rebecca Lockhart and members of the Senate Republicans at odds with one another over how to address the public health crisis.
Locally, the problem was discussed at last week’s Cache County Council meeting where Bear River Health Department Director Lloyd Berentzen said the new emissions testing program is working well so far. He said a lot of people believe reducing idling is important.
“One of the reasons this comes up is the idea is, can you put a standard out there on idling that says you should turn it off in five minutes or one minute or within whatever amount of time,” Berentzen asked. “You have so many variables.
“You have hybrid engines, you’ve got gas engines, you’ve got electric cars now that are out there, you have diesel engines, you have various sizes of motors and so forth. All those things factor in to how long can it stay warm, how long can it not produce problems for our air shed.”
Berentzen said the Bear River Health Department has been working with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and the Utah Department of Health in trying to find ways to clean up the air. But Democrats are saying that Republicans are not showing leadership on the issue.