Target: Amanda Smith, Director of Utah Department of Environmental Quality
Goal: Force state environmental departments to take responsibility for their ozone levels to prevent air quality from further declining
The Utah Department of Environmental Quality recently sided with polluters on the issue of making stricter ozone standards. Instead of taking responsibility for and taking action against man-made pollutants in the state, the Department shrugged the issue off by blaming wildfires and high elevation. If our states’ environmental departments don’t commit to making the ozone situation better, then no one else will either. Demand that state environmental departments do their part to prevent depletion of the ozone layer.
Ozone is a major problem in the “energy corridor” of Wyoming, Colorado, New Mexico, and Eastern Utah, known as the Uinta Basin. The fossil fuel industry has turned the Uinta Basin into the area’s largest polluted as a result of oil shale, tar sands, and refinery expansions. Unlike Los Angeles, traffic isn’t causing the smog pollution in Utah: oil refineries are. Even at its current standards, ozone is affecting the health and wellness off Utah residents in this region.
High temperatures, droughts, and natural wildfires have become increasingly common in Utah, and we often powerless against the forces of nature. However, we do have the power to do something about the ozone depletion and air pollution caused by oil refinery processes in the area. Sign the below petition to urge Utah’s environmental department to not give up on the ozone layer so quickly. Not all sources of ozone depletion are out of our control and we must do what we can to control the man-made causes of pollution.
Dear Director Smith,
Unfortunately, the Western United States has been recently plagued by extreme heat, drought, and wildfires, which has contributed significantly to the depletion of the ozone layer. As you know, the ozone is limited and cannot be restored once it is destroyed. Although some forces of nature are inevitable and out of human control, state environmental departments must assume responsibility for the ozone in their regions and do their part.
I am urging you to work with local environmental groups to introduce more sustainable ways of procuring energy in the Western United States. I understand that these transformations don’t happen overnight, but we must start phasing out environmentally harmful refinery processes before the air quality in Utah becomes simply unlivable for residents.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: Walter Siegmund via Wikimedia Commons