Early inversion raises concern for environmental group

By Cristina Rendon

Published 11/13 2013 10:27PM

Updated 11/13 2013 10:29PM

SALT LAKE CITY, (ABC 4 Utah) – An inversion hit the Salt Lake Valley Wednesday just a few months before peak inversion days in December and January.

The smog is an unwelcome sight in November for Cherise Udell with Utah Moms for Clean Air.

“It just seems really early that we have to start worrying about our air quality already,” Udell said.

Wednesday was considered a yellow day or moderate air day, but a cold front was expected to clear the dirty air by Thursday.

Donna Spangler with the Utah Department of Environmental Quality said now is the time of year inversion days start to creep on us. She said Wednesday’s smog may have affected those with sensitive respiratory systems and she understands people’s concern.

“I am grateful that people are mindful of this I want people to be aware of it because they can make choices that make a difference,” Spangler said.

The choices that can make a difference would be to limit driving. Spangler said 50% of Utah’s air pollution comes from automobiles. Yet, our overall air quality is improving because of tougher federal restrictions on pollution.

“This is definitely a good reminder that there are choices people can make to prevent our air from getting worse,” she said.

A new app for smart phones called “Utah Air” was created by the Division of Air Quality. It will show users how good or bad the air is each day and tell them if there are any voluntary or mandatory restrictions on burning.

Udell said she hoped Wednesday’s smog was not a sign of a bad inversion season to come.

“It just makes me cringe and it makes me worry that we're moving toward an LA type smog pattern that one that you can't escape except for on rainy days,” Udell added.

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