Why Utah needs a spiffy new lab, and what kind of testing will happen there

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SALT LAKE CITY — The vital testing related to Utah's air pollution and water quality will now be carried out under one roof with Tuesday's celebratory opening of the new Technical Support Center.

The 21,500-square-foot building will serve the needs of the Utah Department of Environmental Quality and was funded in part by a $6 million appropriation by the Utah Legislature.

A year earlier, it was identified as a top five funding priority after an analysis.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert will usher in the official opening of the center, which will be occupied by water quality on one side and air quality on the other.

The new building is adjacent to agency headquarters and replaces a testing facility in West Valley City, where scientists working in that warehouse were subjected to less than ideal conditions that included rumblings and vibrations from nearby industrial activity.

Its proximity will also decrease tailpipe emissions and save time for employees.

The project has been on the wish list of the agency for well over a decade. Construction workers broke ground two years ago.

The lab will process numerous tests related to air pollution monitoring and water quality samples state scientists routinely collect to ensure protection of Utah's waterways.

This story will be updated.


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Amy Joi O'Donoghue
Amy Joi O’Donoghue is a reporter for the Utah InDepth team at the Deseret News with decades of expertise in land and environmental issues.


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