New Energy Efficiency and Air Quality Ordinance

1/26/2017 - SALT LAKE CITY, Utah (ABC 4 News) The inversion is on it's way back which means more bad air but Salt Lake City Mayor Jackie Biskupski has proposed a new energy efficiency and air quality ordinance to help clean up our air.

Sustainability and Environment director Vicki Bennett joined Emily Clark the studio for Good Morning Utah to talk about the ordinance.

Bennett explained the ordinance as an energy benchmarking and tune-up ordinance for large commercial buildings. The proposed market-based ordinance would eliminate over 98 tons of criteria pollutants from Salt Lake City's air each year. They do so by phasing in new requirements for buildings over 25,000 square feet to "benchmark" their energy use annually using EPA's free Energy Star software.

Not only is bad air a health concern, but it impacts the economy as well. Bad air keeps kids indoors from recess, sends visits to the ER soaring, and makes residents and visitors alike run for the hills just so they can breathe.

Businesses that contemplate moving to Salt Lake City come and visit during the winter. We know of instances where companies were considering SLC, and when they couldn't see down the street because of the haze they left. 

But there are ways you can get involved. Here's how:

  •  Sign up for air quality email alerts provided by DAQ, or download the UtahAir app on your phone.
  •  Start today. Don't start your car and let it idle in the driveway to warm up. When you do that, you are polluting the air in your neighborhood, and wasting gas and money. As we say, "idling gets you nowhere".
  • One of the most common sense measures is to not burn wood in the winter-and definitely not on days when the air is bad or getting there.
  •  As much as possible, avoid unnecessary driving by carpooling, taking transit, biking or walking to work.
  • Insulate your home.
  • Turn the thermostat down a couple of degrees
  • When you're in the market for a new furnace or hot water heater, look for Ultra Low NOx models, which can put out 40 percent less particulate pollution.
  • Use low-VOC products, especially paint.  Go to EPA's Design for the Environment to see what those are.
  • Don't use a gasoline-powered snow blower or lawn equipment.

For more information on the ordinance and ways to be involved, visit

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