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UCC Statement of Solidarity in Racial Justice, Equity and Accessibility

UCC Statement of Solidarity in Racial Justice, Equity and Accessibility

Utah Clean Cities acknowledges and condemns racism, racially motivated violence and discrimination in all of its forms. We support and demand justice among communities of color, in Utah and nationwide. 

Systemic racism demands systemic solutions that are based on listening, learning, empathy, solidarity and action. No matter what lane we occupy in driving a sustainable future, we can and will find ways to center and support racial justice. The ongoing movement of social justice presents us with an opportunity to listen to one another, heighten our awareness, increase our compassion and heed the call to action that must happen now.

As an organization focused on transportation and sustainability, we want to ensure equitable access to resources for individuals from all communities that will lead to a positive change in the clean, safe and healthy communities that we all deserve.

We are committed to listening. We are committed to action. 

We are committed to being mindful of diverse voices in our workplace and elevating the voices of people of color.   We will engage with and listen intently to communities that have been marginalized by structural racism. We will provide decision-makers with up to date information and opportunities that promote social justice and equity and work in earnest to improve the economic opportunity of all Utahns. 

We are committed to providing free Idle Free materials and resources for all schools in Utah. We support students who want to contribute to the solutions for our changing climate by hosting their stories and art and helping them campaign at their schools for air quality and idle-free education. 

We are committed to providing strategies to transition to clean and renewable transportation systems in communities of color thus offering emission-free transport in areas that are most affected by Utah’s poor air quality.

We are committed to elevating the voices of people of color to make necessary systemic changes. 

 

-Utah Clean Cities Team

 

 

 

 

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Celebrating Untamed Ogden’s Air

Celebrating Untamed Ogden’s Air

What does it mean to have a sense of place? Why do certain places have greater meaning for us than others? Why are some people drawn to the desert, while others to the mountains or water?

Setting aside a land formation from the land surrounding it by naming it, describing it, and sharing your emotional reaction to it sets it apart from the everyday.  A sense of place is a feeling of ownership or personal investment. It is cultural evidence of our connection with the land.

Ogden City’s slogan, “Still Untamed,” owns our gritty history and beautifully diverse community, while cleverly touting Ogden’s well-deserved status as an outdoor recreation hub. My sense of place in my Ogden community includes hiking, biking, five years as an outdoor environmental educator at the Ogden Nature Center and six years as a classroom teacher at DaVinci Academy. It includes involvement in conservation, student empowerment, and the idle-free movement. I have been proud to be involved in the adoption of idle-free status for multiple schools, businesses, and one church. A few faces from the last two years’ graduating classes are just recognizable in the photo below. In it beaming seventh and eighth grade students proudly wave signs to educate parents about the dangers of idling cars outside their school during an Idle Free Week in 2013.  

The recent Every Utah Kid Outdoors legislation advocates for Utah’s children and their right to grow up experiencing our breathtakingly beautiful, ecologically-diverse landscapes. Our state is, as I tell my students, “postcard perfect, every single day.” We live in a place that is visited by one-third of the Earth’s migratory bird population, owing to the precious and delicate Great Salt Lake ecosystem. Utah is home to nine Dark Sky Parks! We are blessed to live within a couple of hours’ drive of desert, mountain, forest, or riparian ecosystems in Utah, not to mention the sites of some of the most abundant dinosaur quarries. Our parks are international tourist destinations, and people from all over the globe come here to ski. But, in order for Utah’s kids to grow up appreciating these spaces, they must get outside and experience them. In order for these spaces to be experienced, they must be preserved. And we must make sure that the environment around these places is a safe place for children to explore.

Two of my high school conservation club students recently approached Ogden City Council, sharing their own research on our local air pollution problems and charging the Council with the responsibility to take action and lead by example. Council Member Luis Lopez agreed to take action to preserve the health of our children and their ability to safely explore outdoors by sponsoring an Ogden air quality ordinance, now being drafted with the aid of Ogden’s new Sustainability Committee. This is something to celebrate! I want to thank Mr. Lopez for responding to our youth, when they asked if they could count on their City Council to protect the health of Ogden’s children, “You can count on me.” I understand that the Council Chair and Vice Chair have made this an immediate priority, and I thank them as well.   

 

 

 

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Utah Legislative Updates 2019


Follow along with the bills Utah Clean Cities is tracking this year throughout the 2019 Utah State Legislative Session.


By Ashley Miller, Breathe Utah

H.B. 107 Sustainable Transportation and Energy Plan Act Amendments

HB107 allows the Utah Public Service Commission to authorize a large-scale natural gas utility to establish programs that promote sustainable energy solutions. A large-scale natural gas utility’s spending would be capped annually at $10M. The cost impact to customers would not be significant. For example, if the utility invested $15-$30M in infrastructure to support RNG production and CNG station infrastructure, the cost to the average Utah residential customer would be approximately $0.16 – $0.33 per month.

 

H.B. 139 Motor Vehicle Emissions Amendments

Rep. Angela Romero (D-Salt Lake City) is bringing back a bill that simply ran out of time last year. Her Motor Vehicle Emissions Amendments bill, HB 139, increases the fines for diesel truck owners who intentionally tamper with the emissions controls of their engines to emit plumes of black exhaust from their tailpipes.

A first offense is increased from $50 to $100, and a subsequent offense increases from $100 to $500.

It is illegal for excessive visible exhaust to be emitted from vehicles that have removed or altered the emissions controls. This bill will help strengthen the existing law by requiring a stronger line of communication between law enforcement who gives a citation, to local health departments who run the emissions inspection programs. Offenders will be reported to the health department, which will, in theory, flag a visual inspection when the vehicle is brought in for its emissions inspection.

 

H.B. 148 Vehicle Idling Revisions

Idle Free is a popular air quality campaign in Utah. It’s simple and straightforward: Don’t idle. Eight Utah cities currently have an idle-free ordinance on the books: Salt Lake City, Park City, Logan, Alta, Holladay, Murray, Sandy and Cottonwood Heights.

More cities are interested in the program, but are hindered by enforcement issues due to an ambiguous 2012 state law which many say defeats the intended purpose of reducing emissions from idling vehicles.

Rep. Patrice Arent (D-Millcreek), is running HB 148, which will repeal the idling provisions written in this state law.

 

H.C.R. 3 Concurrent Resolution Urging the Environmental Protection Agency to Update Switcher Locomotive Emission Standards &

H.B. 98 Freight Switcher Emissions Mitigation

Last year, Representative Steve Handy (R-Layton) ran a bill that would help address a significant source of air pollution in our valley—pollution from freight switcher locomotives (See CATALYST, March 2018). Freight switchers are locomotives that shuttle train cars around rail yards before they’re shipped across the country. Each unit comes with a price tag of over $1.5 million and a useful life of up to 60 years.

The ones operating in our non-attainment areas are extremely dirty tier 0 and tier 0+ engines. The current standard for these locomotives is 80-90% cleaner, but under the Clean Air Act, the state can’t require the companies that own and operate them to upgrade to a cleaner engine.

Representative Handy is addressing air pollution from freight switchers with two bills this session. He is bringing back his bill from last year, HB 98, which will create a funding mechanism to upgrade up to three of these engines. He is also bringing a separate resolution, calling on the Environmental Protection Agency to set stricter emissions standards for locomotives. This resolution, HCR 003, acknowledges that the Clean Air Act prohibits states from adopting more stringent emissions standards for switcher locomotives, and recognizes that higher emissions standards for these locomotives would reduce harmful air pollution in our non-attainment areas.

 

H.C.R. 2 Concurrent Resolution Supporting Renewable and Sustainable Energy Options to Promote Rural Economic Development

H.C.R. 11 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging the Purchase of Tier 3 Gasoline

H.C.R. 13 Concurrent Resolution Encouraging Utah Refiners to Manufacture Tier 3 Gasoline to Improve Air Quality

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One Plus One and the 11th Annual Declaration for Idle Free In Utah

One plus one and the 11th Annual Declaration for Idle Free In Utah

What does eleven mean?  One more than ten and yet, in 2018, it means in one year so much can happen.  Does one year make a difference?  I think it can. The collective of many “ones” seems to be the spirit of Utah and the Idle Free movement.  It began with one person talking with another about the pollution that they could see, taste, feel and smell.  The questions grew from one to many, ”what is this black smoke we are seeing coming out of tailpipes?”, and “If it is burning my nose, lungs and eyes, what does that mean long-term for my health and the health of our children’s developing bodies?”  The questions kept coming and the Idle Free movement grew out of the biggest question, “Why Idle?” The question was asked in one fifth-grade classroom in Holladay, and responded to by one teacher, Patti White. Her students asked why the school buses were idling at neighborhood stops and schools zones?  They wanted an answer. And a solution.

This small question led to the action of countless others: big and small players, loud and quiet movements, one and many, again and again. Our collective voices were heard. Notably, Utah Clean Cities and the Utah State Board of Education provided the training to ensure school bus drivers were trained across the state to “Turn the Key and Be Idle Free”.  And they are, every year.  The school bus drivers are some of the biggest advocates, after all, they too are breathing the fumes along with their precious passengers.  Sharing the air at school loading zones are students, crossing guards, faculty and staff, and the people in the idling cars; all breathing the same air.  They are all within the HOT zones of pollution.

To this problem, our resolute and imperturbable Utahns, used warm tones (and sometimes HOT ones) offering solutions, and even demanding them, for the protection of themselves and loved ones at home, school and at work. Utah businesses are an unsung hero of the Idle Free movement, advocating for clean air and reducing costly, senseless wasted fuel and engine wear. Utah Clean Cities has dozens of partners who proudly use the Idle Free driver training, signage and display the little round logo, TURN THE KEY, BE IDLE FREE message on their refuse haulers, company cars, work trucks, buses, vans and heavy-duty equipment.  You can see them in drive-up windows, on doors and in parking lots throughout the state.

The collective of one: one teacher, one student, one mayor, one citizen, one school, one business, one city, and ultimately the one person who turns the key, is what makes this a remarkable grass-root program.  Turn the Key, Be Idle Free has become uniquely Utah’s motto for the environment and clean air.  It has become the movement that belongs to the one individual—the one who has awareness, who cares, and can take individual responsibility. We can all be Idle Free.

The fast turning of time has led to late summer and to the realization that the 11th Declaration for Idle Free Month and Idle Free Season is here again.  I reflected on last year and the great celebration of last year’s milestone 10 Year anniversary event. Many people — ordinary folks and extraordinary leaders –I like to say “from Alta to Zion and everywhere across the state” gathered at the Captiol to celebrate the success of Idle Free.

This year, we decided for the 11th Declaration, we wanted to set a new goal for 70 Mayors (we had 50). Utah leadership responded, and in less than a month of reaching out to Utah mayors for renewed support of the declaration, we surpassed our goal by one… just one more than seventy!

This year the support from Utah cities has grown to a historic high with seventy-one Mayors signing, along with Governor Gary Herbert, in support of Idle Free Awareness Month and Idle Free Utah 2018-2019.  This is highly significant.  Those seventy-one mayors represent the majority of Utah’s population, roughly 76%, and further, all seventeen mayors representing cities in Salt Lake County, along with Mayor Ben McAdams, have signed the Governor’s 2018-2019 Idle Free Declaration.

Join us in celebration!

On September 18th, Utah Clean Cities is celebrating the work of our dedicated partners: the “ones” and the many, the large and the small.  We are proud to announce that eight Utah cities are Idle Free cities complete with Idle Free ordinances and laws supporting local efforts to ensure communities have support with idle free education, signage, and ultimately enforcement if needed.  It’s all the right steps, one at a time, in the right direction.  This movement is important and we challenge every single city and town in Utah, one and all, to join in with the leadership and positive movement for Turn the Key, Be Idle Free.

Breathe Easier, Save Money and Protect Blue Sky. 

 

Please contact us to become an Idle Free City.  Contact Ashley Miller who diligently works with cities with the help of Breathe Utah and Utah Clean Cities.

 

Tammie Bostick-Cooper is on her third year with Utah Clean Cities.  She inherited the wonderful grass-roots program from her vigilant predecessors within Utah Clean Cities and the many partners who have been “the growth” of the program since the start more than 11 years ago.  She remains in awe of the one-plus-one-equals-three (1+1=3) concept and marvels at the fact that this year it equals eleven!   Despite her poor math, she remains, as her children call her, “the Idle-nista!”  She is humbled by all the Ones that made this Utah’s own- TURN YOUR KEY, BE IDLE FREE!

Utah Clean Cities at Jefferson Jr. High 2016

Idle Free Spanish Poster 8.5 x 11 DownloadIdle Free English Poster Download 8.5 x 11

Idle Free Cards Blue Download

 

 

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Reminder: Turn the Key, Be Idle Free!

The sights and smells of back-to-school are here: new pencils and paper, first-day clothes, and the hint of fall in the air. It’s an exciting time for many kids, parents, and teachers as we enter another year and get back into the school day routine.

And with the return of that familiar routine, we’d like to encourage you to be Idle Free. Whether dropping off the kids or running errands around town, one thing we can all do to improve air quality is to “Turn the Key and Be Idle Free.”

It’s easy. If you’re stopped for more than ten seconds, turn the engine off. Read more

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Idling Is Getting Us Nowhere Fast!

Idling is gets us nowhere fast!

Ten years ago, my niece came to my mountain home and announced her class was campaigning to stop the dirty old school buses from idling at her Morningside school.  She talked expertly about carbon footprints, asthma, and PM 2.5.  I was getting my first education on the dire effects of idling from a nine year old activist.  Over the last year, I would say I have become an Idle.   My college kids call me the Idle Free Fairy, passing out Idle Free stickers and knocking on idling car windows and asking, reminding, and sometimes retreating from annoyed drivers.

There is almost no reason to idle for while parking, there are exceptions, but there are even better solutions.  Each year American’s burn over 6 million gallons of gas going nowhere—they are simply idling.  Estimates in Utah say that ¼ of our emissions are a result of idling. If you can see something coming out of the tail pipe, its particulate matter and it’s dangerous, especially to developing lungs and vulnerable populations.PM2.5, the tiny particles you can’t often see, lodges in the lungs and crosses the blood barrier.

Read more