Downtown News and Blog

Letter from the President: Air Quality Economics

January 27, 2020 Written by Derek Miller

Published in Downtown News and Blog

Derek Miller, President & CEO, Salt Lake Chamber and Downtown Alliance

While the majesty of Utah’s mountains are inspiring and full of recreational possibilities, they also create a natural barrier that can adversely affect our air quality during the winter months, especially along the Wasatch Front. An EDC Utah survey of Salt Lake City businesses ranks air quality as the factor in most need of improvement to strengthen the city’s value proposition.

The Salt Lake Chamber views air quality in terms of economic development and quality of life. Consequently, efforts to improve it require the engagement of everyone — business, government, communities and individuals. It is imperative that we implement policies and practices to clean our air, protect our health and make sure our mountains and surrounding environment live up to Utah’s promise of life elevated.

This upcoming legislative session, we support:
-Data-driven legislative initiatives and Salt Lake Chamber partnerships to improve air quality;
-Deterring wood burning through increased enforcement on mandatory non-wood burning days and investment for wood burning changeouts specifically targeted to geographic areas that are disproportionately affected by air pollution

As air quality continues to influence the decisions of companies and prospective employees to either relocate to or stay in Utah, smart planning and coordination are vital to our success. We must work together with an understanding that even small things can make a big difference. Start by joining the Salt Lake Chamber, UCAIR and TravelWise’s Clear the Air Challenge, a month-long competition designed to encourage Utahns to reduce their vehicle emissions by choosing alternatives to their regular commute. 

Visit cleartheairchallenge.org to learn more.