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AGENCY SMOG THWARTS PROVO POLLUTION STUDY

Plans for a downtown air pollution study have been caught in bureaucratic smog, and the actual study may not come until next year.

Several government agencies and one private entity involved have been unable to coordinate the project. In the past three weeks, representatives for each agency said they were waiting on information from the other."For all intents and purposes, I think the point is moot. The inversion period has passed," said Raylene Ireland, administrative assistant to Mayor Joe Jenkins. Ireland said the city will try to put everything together for next year.

City officials want to know whether temporarily changing the traffic signal at 200 N. University Ave. to a flashing light reduces automobile carbon monoxide emissions in the area during the winter inversion. Speeding up traffic on the street may improve air quality. The Environmental Protection Agency monitors carbon monoxide pollution at 240 N. University Ave.

Brigham Young University chemical engineer Cal Bartholomew was to conduct the two-week study.

The state Division of Air Quality expressed concerns about the proposed methodology and advised Bartholomew to make revisions "to add to the legitimacy" of the results, said Robert Dalley, manager of monitoring for the air quality division.

"I'm not sure what the status is on the study," he said.

Dalley said it would be difficult to conduct the research under current meteorological conditions and then adapt the data to the winter inversion period.

Meanwhile, the city received a list of questions from the Utah Department of Transportation on Wednesday concerning the flashing light's potential impact on traffic patterns. City officials have been unable to respond to the inquiry.

More than 40 of the city's top managers, including the mayor, were out of town last week for emergency management training.

David Miles, a UDOT traffic engineer in Salt Lake City, said the department doesn't oppose changing the traffic signal. UDOT, he said, is waiting for city officials to submit answers to its questions.