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Letter: Protect our national parks from harmful pollution

Letter to the editor
Letter to the editor
Deseret News

Utah’s national parks bring people from all over the world and provide locals a respite from daily life. Unfortunately, our national parks are being clouded by a haze of human-made nitrogen oxide, or NOx, and particulate matter pollution being emitted from the Hunter and Huntington coal power plants. The pollution from these power plants reduces the ability to see Canyonlands, Arches, Capitol Reef, Bryce and Zion national parks 70 percent of the year or more.

There are solutions available through an industry-standard technology called Selective Catalytic Reduction, or SCR, which Pacificorp uses at other plants. EPA analyses found the Hunter and Huntington plants could achieve significant pollution reductions through SCR. So why isn’t Pacificorp using SCR at these plants? In 2015, they made a deal with the state of Utah to close down a coal-fired plant, which plant was non-compliant with mercury emissions anyway. Then in 2016, because of the regional haze issue, the EPA required SCR to be installed by 2021. Instead of complying with the EPA, Utah chose litigation against them.

The Utah Air Quality board needs to address the nitrogen oxide and particulate matter pollution and create a regional haze rule with effective actions.

Maurena Grossman

Salt Lake City