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Clean air advocates urge veto of outdoor cooking bill

Laura Seitz, Deseret News

Clean air advocates urge veto of outdoor cooking bill

By Amy Joi O'Donoghue | Posted - Mar. 17, 2017 at 6:40 a.m.


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SALT LAKE CITY — Clean air advocates renewed their call to Gov. Gary Herbert to veto a piece of controversial legislation, rallying Friday against the so-called outdoor cooking bill.

Members of the Utah Air Quality Board have also sent a letter to Herbert urging him to veto HB65, sponsored by Rep. Mike Schultz, R-Hooper.

Board members said the measure would prevent them from taking action in the future to regulate the burning of solid fuels on bad air days or during inversions.

With Utah facing implementation of stricter pollution controls to meet federal clean air standards, board members — joined by clean air advocates — say regulators need every possible tool to consider when drafting their plan.

"The broad language of this bill opens the door for wood burning during inversions and allows for anything up to a backyard bonfire,” said Ashley Soltysiak, HEAL Utah’s policy director.

The environmental nonprofit HEAL Utah and supporters for clean air gather outside the corporate headquarters of Traeger Grills to urge Gov. Gary Herbert to veto HB65 on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News
The environmental nonprofit HEAL Utah and supporters for clean air gather outside the corporate headquarters of Traeger Grills to urge Gov. Gary Herbert to veto HB65 on Thursday, March 16, 2017. Photo: Laura Seitz, Deseret News

“Worst of all, this bill prevents our experts at the Division of Air Quality from ever proposing rules to limit hazards from this sector in the future, regardless of what the science says,” Soltysiak said.

The rally was held in Salt Lake City outside the headquarters for Traeger Grills, which designs, markets and sells wood pellet grills.

Herbert has said he has concerns with the bill but has not indicated if he will veto it.

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Amy Joi O'Donoghue

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