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March Punchlist

HB 220 (Emissions Reduction Amendments) Passed the Legislature

We’re so excited to have seen HB 220 pass the legislature, marking a major win for air quality and a step in the right direction for our legislative framework, Prosperity 2030.

The bill is now waiting to be signed into law by Gov. Cox. One more step you can take? Write a note or call Gov. Cox’s office and voice your support for HB 220 becoming a law.

HB 220 went through a number of changes throughout the legislative session, so what does the bill accomplish?

  • The Division of Air Quality (DAQ) has to identify and quantify all industrial sources of halogens.

  • The DAQ must make a recommendation to the legislature on state halogen emissions limits by the end of 2024.

  • In the meantime, DAQ must set a tech-based standard for bromine and other halogen emissions. This means they will require companies to use certain tools to limit emissions.

  • Halogen emissions must be controlled no later than 2026.

One of the most impactful pieces of air quality legislation in the last decade!

HB 220 does not pass without you. This bill has been years in the making from time spent in elections to advancing policy at the Capitol. If you volunteered during an election cycle, sent a note to your representative, lobbied on the Hill, participated at an event, donated to O₂ Utah, or took any other action to elect climate champions and advance air quality legislation — THANK YOU!

HB 411 (Community Renewable Energy Program)

Eighteen communities have opted to participate in the Community Renewable Energy Program, which says ​​Rocky Mountain Power will supply 100% renewable energy to residents and businesses by 2030.

Even though these communities agreed to participate, there are still some hurdles to ensure they stay committed and the program is enacted, including signing a utility agreement with Rocky Mountain Power.

Please reach out to your elected officials and encourage them to remain in the program.

If you live in Salt Lake City, Ogden, Millcreek, Holladay, Cottonwood Heights, Kearns, Emigration Canyon, Moab, Springdale, Castle Valley, Park City, Oakley, Coalville, Francis, or Alta click here for more info on contacting your local leaders.

And if you live within Salt Lake County, Summit County, or Grand County click here.

As always, a personal note stating why the issue is important to you goes a long way when contacting elected officials.

EPA PM2.5 Comment Period

The EPA is reconsidering the PM2.5 standard and accepting public comments until March 28.

This is a very important opportunity to set tighter air quality standards and, in turn, lower emissions.

Currently, there are two PM2.5 standards: annually averaged PM2.5 (set to 12 ug/m3) and 24-hour average PM2.5 (set to 35 ug/m3).

Generally, Utah meets the annual average, but we exceed the 24-hour average. And even though we meet the annual average, research shows our air quality is still costing Utahns 2-5 years of our lives.

So, what should you say in your comment?

1) Ask the EPA to set the 24-hour PM2.5 standard to 25 ug/m3

2) Tell the EPA how the current annual average standard isn't sufficient based on your experience living in Utah

Make your comments personal — let the EPA know how Utah's bad air negatively affects you!

Logan Mitchell of Utah Clean Energy put together a comprehensive Twitter thread with more info.

Upcoming Events

On Saturday, March 18 we’ll be joining the Front Climbing Club for their St. Paddy’s Day Pump climbing competition.

The competition is open to top-rope and lead climbers of all experience and ability levels. Click here to register and find more info. It’ll be shamrockin’!

Join us for an amazing opportunity at the Intermountain Sustainability Summit on Thursday, March 23 at Weber State University.

The summit features keynote speakers and workshops while bringing together sustainability professionals and environmental leaders from the business, nonprofit, government, and education sectors. Learn more and register here.

Staff Updates

We’re excited to welcome our new Community & Events Manager Samantha Pensari to the O₂ Utah team.

Samantha graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in environmental studies and brings grassroots organizing experience from time with the Sierra Club and HEAL Utah.

Be on the lookout for Samantha representing O₂ Utah at community events and please reach out to her for volunteer opportunities.

Samantha is taking over the role from Bronti DeRoche who is taking on a new opportunity with Wasatch Community Gardens.

Thank you to Bronti for all of her hard work and welcome, Samantha!

We also want to officially welcome our two new interns, Eileen Son and Lilli Eckberg. Eileen recently graduated from the University of Utah with a communications degree while Lilli is majoring in environmental studies at Westminster College.

Support O₂ Utah

All of these accomplishments, especially passing HB 220, are not possible without your generous support.

As we gear up for municipal elections, strategize for the 2024 legislative session, and so much more, please consider donating to O₂ Utah.

Whether renewing your support or giving for the first time, we appreciate your show of confidence in our mission. Donate today and keep O₂ Utah fighting for our air.

Staff Recs

Eli is watching...

March Madness! It’s the most wonderful time of the year. Conference tournament week did not disappoint, but now the real show has arrived. Three weeks of non-stop hoops and all the upsets you could ever want. Oh, the drama. You know I’ll be rooting hard for my Maryland Terrapins. Fear the Turtle!

Greg is eating...

Vietopia Deli. This place just opened up next to our offices. The Bahn Mi is great, prices are good and the service exceptional. Give it a go.

David is eating...

California Burgers & Deli. A hidden gem in Salt Lake’s Marmalade neighborhood.

Samantha is reading and eating...

How To Stop Time by Matt Haig has been my favorite read so far this year. One new restaurant I have tried is Salt and Olive. This place is just around the corner from our office and has amazing pizza and pasta.

Eliza is anticipating...

Spring skiing and outdoor concert weather! Looking forward to checking out new venues as the temps continue to rise.

Travis is exploring...

City Creek Canyon. Time to enjoy this out-of-nowhere spring weather. Located just above the state capital building, you can take the main road to hike, run, walk or bike! No cars allowed!


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