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'Clean Air, No Excuses' Rally draws 5,000 citizens to the Utah State Capitol

On Jan. 25, 2014, the Clean Air, No Excuses Rally drew over 5,000 people to the Utah State Capitol to rally for tighter government control over air quality standards.

Clean Air, No Excuses Rally
Clean Air, No Excuses Rally
Shad Engkilterra
Alec Huff and Carrie Brown from UVU help rally with Gov. Herbert's phone number
Shad Engkilterra

“Utah will no longer tolerate our air pollution problem,” says Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment. “We are sick and tired of trying to breathe free.”

A coalition of clean air groups including the UPHE, Utah Moms for Clean Air and Utah Clean Air Now put together the rally on the Saturday before the Utah State Legislature starts its 2014 session.

There are about 15 bills relating to clean air being proposed during the session. Cherise Udell of Utah Moms for Clean Air encourages people to write letters, make phone calls and send emails and continue to pressure Utah politicians on clean air policies.

“We all have the right to breathe clean air,” says Udell.

With dangerous levels of 2.5 particulate matter, the Wasatch Front has been under siege with bad air and in non-compliance with the Clean Air Act for at least five years.

The State of Utah has until 2019 to come into compliance or face action by the EPA. The recently passed State Implementation Plan has been criticized by the EPA and activist groups as too soft on industry polluters.