Wednesday, February 22, 2012


Utah House Voting on H.B. 104 TODAY

House Bill 104 (H.B. 104) threatens to undo the work of Utah cities to help solve our air quality problem by prohibiting any type of vehicle idling restrictions! Learn more about the bill:

The truth is that we have a serious air quality issue. It is important that real, concrete steps are taken to reduce vehicle emissions. Salt Lake City and Park City’s Idle Free Ordinances are a step in the right direction. Let the Utah legislature know if you support cities taking local action to address air quality.

Please take a moment to do three things:

1. Contact your legislators. Find your representative’s email address and/or phone number for the House of Representatives ( and Utah Senate ( online.

2. Let the Governor know how you feel about H.B. 104. Contact Governor Herbert:

3. Spread the word on Facebook, Twitter and via email. Ask your contacts to join you in making their voice heard on this issue.

Utah's 2012 Legislative Session: Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde Approach to Air Quality

The bi-partisan co-sponsors of H.B. 70, which will create a legislative Air Quality Task Force, met with a victory earlier this month when the bill passed the House vote on February, 7th. This Task Force will cooperatively gather and review unbiased, scientific information that will assist them in drafting bills that will amend current state laws and regulations with the aim of improve air quality in Utah. However, advocates of clean air hold their breath today as H.B. 104, legislation that will prohibit any local highway authority from enacting ordinances that prohibits idling, is voted on by the Utah House of Representatives. This bill would negate all idling ordinances in the state of Utah, targeting ordinances in Park City and Salt Lake City.

H.B. 104, sponsored by Rep Wayne Harper (R), will amend Utah Traffic Code, Section 41-6a-208, restricting local highway authority regulatory powers and limiting the autonomy of local authorities. It will invalidate two different ordinances passed in Salt Lake City in one blanket attempt: the 2011 anti-idling ordinance and a 2010 ordinance regarding taxi cab contracting. Additionally, it will negate the anti-idling ordinance passed by Park City in December of 2010.

Currently, State code holds that local regulatory powers include authority over (to name just a few items on the list) the stopping, standing, or parking of vehicles, the regulation of speed limits, bicycle traffic, and even the regulation or prohibiting of “specified types of vehicles”. The ordinances enacted by Salt Lake are reasonably within these powers. H.B. 104 attempts to split hairs on an agenda. The changes under this legislation will restrict local authorities from enacting ordinances which may prevent the owners and operators of vehicles from idling their engines, and prevent local authorities from enacting ordinances prohibiting vehicles from being licensed as taxi cabs based on date of manufacturing (text of the H.B. 104). Ordinances enacted to reduce pollution and regulate the safe operation of vehicles are a matter of public health and safety, and should be within the scope of a local authority's power.

Ironically, the attitude manifested by H.B. 104 counters the progressive viewpoint of H.B. 70, which acknowledges Utah’s air quality issue and acts to take concrete steps forward (text of H.B. 70). If H.B. 104 passes it will negate the hard earned successes of numerous community leaders, air quality advocates and public lesions. Utahns are working hard to clean up their air and maintain their state’s reputation as a fabulous place to live, work and play. PLEASE take the time to let your representative that you DO NOT want the legislature to back-petal on the issue of air quality.


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