Clean Air Legislation – Utah Legislature General Session 2014
Air quality is one of the most important issues to Utahns today. During the past session, the Legislature addressed a record number of proposals designed to improve our air. More clean air legislation passed this session than in many past sessions combined. Some bills did not pass this year, but served to increase awareness and began an important dialogue on a variety of important air quality issues. Many of these bills will get further study during the upcoming Legislative Interim committee meetings and 2015 session.
- The House Clean Air Caucus, a bipartisan group that began meeting last year, worked together to find effective ways to address our air quality issues.
- The Economic Development Task Force studied air quality for the past two years and made a number of recommendations that passed this year.
- Over 20 bills were introduced (some on similar topics) as well as requests for new appropriations. $4,673,700 was appropriated to fund these bills and provide new resources for the Division of Air Quality.
Bills and Appropriations Requests That Passed:
- Reduced unneeded regulation that will improve the infrastructure for electric vehicle charging stations. (HB 19 – Rep. Arent)
- Added pollution control devices to the list of business inputs exempt from sales tax, which provides a direct pathway for private industry to reduce air pollution. (HB 31 – Rep. Wilcox)
- Created State Resource Stewardship Coordinator to promote adoption of clean air policies and share best practices among state agencies $123,700 in ongoing funding (HB 38 – Rep. Arent)
- Established and amended Clean Air Programs – (1) Modified current Clean Fuel and Vehicle Technology Program to include electric-hybrid vehicles and for grants for alternative refueling infrastructure. (2) Created and funded new CARROT Fund (Clean Air Retrofit, Replacement and Off-road technology) to help small businesses and individuals by providing funds for technologies and programs that reduce air emissions. The CARROT Fund will be used to reduce emissions from heavy-duty diesel engines and small non-road engines through grants, exchange, and low-cost purchase programs. $200,000 (HB 61 – Rep. Arent)
- Provided tax credits for the purchase of electric vehicles, plug-in hybrids, and new CNGs and conversions. $1,300,000 (HB 74 – Rep. Snow)
- Funded a voluntary conversion program for homes with wood burning as their sole source of heat (and are on DAQ’s “sole source registry”) to cleaner fuels, and funded an education program on the effects wood burning has on air quality. $750,000 (HB 154 Rep. Arent, Redd & Nielson)
- Encouraged the state of Utah, its subdivisions, and private sector to use biodiesel fuel. (HR 5 – Rep. Johnny Anderson)
- Funded air quality research and equipment to find better understand causes of air pollution in Utah to find effective solutions. $1,400,000 (Rep. Redd)
- Funded four new employees for the Division of Air Quality. $400,000 ongoing funding (Rep. Redd)
- Funded continued air quality public awareness campaign. $500,000 ongoing funding (Rep. Dee)
- Required the state to have 50% or more alternative fuel or highly efficient motor vehicles by Aug. 30, 2018. (SB 99 – Sen. Jenkins)
- Prohibited the Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste from approving an operation plan or issuing a permit to a facility that: (1) incinerates infectious waste or chemotherapeutic agents within a two-mile radius of a residential area; and (2) and is not in operation as of May 13, 2014 (SB 196 – Sen. Weiler)