LOGAN — The Cache Valley has the dubious distinction of having some of the worst air quality in the country this winter. Concerned citizens rallied at the county courthouse Tuesday night with hopes of inspiring change.
The Cache County Council is taking some heat from citizens to push through vehicle emissions standards to get the lengthy process toward cleaner air started. Tuesday's gathering wasn't about what the council did, but what it didn't do.
Mark Blaiser lives in Logan and didn't think much about the bad air quality until he found out that his wife was pregnant.
"It really made me think differently," he said.
Blaiser said in the months of January and February, there have only been nine days of good air.
"We had to leave town because of just the fear of what could happen to our developing child," she said.
He was among more than 100 people who brought signs and a voice to the Cache County Council meeting. Their message was simple: do something.
"Our air quality on the red days is the same as smoking a pack of cigarettes a day," said one resident.
The council previously voted down an ordinance for vehicle emissions standards. While the public and the council realize it won't solve the problem, they want to raise awareness.
"Everyone knows we are becoming the Beijing of the United States," said another participant.
The council did not vote Tuesday - it is waiting on the state Legislature to approve a bill which would outline standards for the emissions testing process. Once that happens, it will likely push it through.
"The County Council is going to pass it," said Logan resident Jim Goodwin. "It's a good indicator to the citizens and the residents in the county that they're willing to take some steps."
Assuming the bill moving through the Legislature passes, the council will vote on the car emissions ordinance at next month's meeting. It stands to lose some federal funding if it doesn't move forward, so all indications point to a yes vote the next time around.