St. George taking appropriate action for cleaner air

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It is conventional wisdom that Utah has a pollution problem, but action has been taken to prevent further problems, and it should be brought to the attention of everyone at Dixie State University.

An article from StGeorgeUtah.com published Aug. 30, 2013, titled “City activates new $45,000 pollution monitor; dust issues,” by Alex Verdugo Morgan, reported St. George “has purchased cutting-edge equipment for the measurement of potentially hazardous substances in the air” in an effort to monitor and mitigate environmental concerns in Southern Utah. A testable environment like St. George will provide data to aid research for a better air quality community.

This is an amazing accomplishment and a commendable effort to make a difference.

The data gathered from the monitor will provide the community with detailed information experts can then implement into shifting the way St. George utilizes energy efficiency.

As the DSU student body, it is critical we take our air quality seriously and become aware there are dire consequences of just ignoring the problem.

The The American Lung Association graded Utah with an F in its 2013 report. Salt Lake and Weber counties were among the worst in the country for bad air quality.

Much of it can be blamed on the unfortunate nature of Utah’s geography.

Take my hometown of Logan, for example, situated right in the middle of Cache Valley. Winters can be ugly and suffocating with the extreme inversion that occurs on a daily basis. It’s a tough problem to solve considering in the dead of winter, people need to drive their cars from place to place or risk freezing to death. Taking alternative transportation isn’t the most ideal option in such temperatures and in that geographical setting.

If pollution concerns are not addressed with immediacy, they could affect us on a local and personal level. Air quality contributes to the overall health of residents and the potential damage to the surrounding environment. Utah should prioritize the issue before it ever gets out of hand.

I am grateful to be living a city that has already done so.

While it is hard to see the solution to these problems with clarity, I am glad to see St. George has already taken a step in the right direction. I want to keep riding my bike to school in the clean morning air and be able to cliff jump into the fresh waters of Sand Hollow. St. George is a beautiful city to live in, so let’s keep it that way by taking our bikes to campus, carpooling with friends and appreciating this beautiful, breathtaking home.