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Renewing driver's license? Bill would tell you about improving air quality

By Lisa Riley Roche, KSL | Posted - Feb 14th, 2018 @ 9:14am

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SALT LAKE CITY — Information about what drivers can do to improve air quality would be available as part of issuing and renewing drivers' licenses under a bill unanimously approved by the House Transportation Committee Tuesday.

The sponsor of HB331, Rep. Mike Kennedy, R-Alpine, said he sees the effort as using a carrot rather than a stick to persuade drivers to take measures to limit vehicle emissions, a major contributor to air pollution.

Kennedy said he appreciated hearing there would be cooperation between different state agencies to put together effective messaging at no cost. He changed his bill to require information rather than materials.

"We're all interested in improving air quality, but there was a disconnect. We’re not experts in air quality," Chris Caras, director of the Utah Driver License Division, told the committee but added there's no resistance to sharing information.

Caras said not having to specifically provide materials gives the division more latitude.

Scott Baird, deputy director of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, said the department welcomes the effort.

"We are looking for any ways we can find" to educate the public about the impact vehicles have on pollution, Baird said, calling the bill "a pretty easy way to get the facts out."

The bill was advanced by the committee to the full House.

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Lisa Riley Roche

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