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From: Kristin Thompson
To: Rep. McKell, M.,
Subject: Current Air Quality
Date: 2014-01-08T19:10:48Z
I have only lived in Salt Lake City for 4 winters, and each year gets worse and worse.  The first winter that I lived here, I was unaware that Salt Lake had poor air quality days.  After going for a run, I started to feel a little bit sick (dizzy/nauseous, and a prominent tickle in my throat).I contributed it to the cold air, but by the next day, I couldn't breathe to the point that it was a struggle to get off the couch to get a glass of water.  I was coughing up oddly colored mucus (dark brown), and was sick for nearly 2 weeks because of this.  I had to quit my job due to the illness.  After talking to my roommates about this incident, they informed me that I had gone running on a "Red Air Day". 

In the winters to follow, I noticed that I started to feel sick every time that an inversion would settle in.  I could only pray for the next storm to blow it all out.

I am a healthy 26 year old woman.  I exercise 5 - 7 days per week, and do not have asthma, or any other cardiovascular disease.   But this bad air is still seriously affecting me.  I have had the same "cold" for 2.5 weeks straight now....having a prolonged cold has never been an issue for me before I moved to Utah.  I can only imagine how people with compromised cardiovascular systems feel.  

Flying in and out of Salt Lake, I see the refineries in North Salt Lake pumping out smog at a disgusting rate.  Flying up the valley, you can see a very noticeable difference between the air quality at the south end of the valley/provo, and the north end.  I have to ask myself, "how can our government let this happen to us?".  Why are you still allowing expansions of these refineries and mines?  Is the health of your citizens of no concern to you?  

I understand that everyone needs to take part in lowering emissions.  I have reduced my driving time (on bad air days, as well as good), and opted to purchase a hybrid vehicle instead of a non-hybrid.  We have also taken actions to make our home more efficient. I am doing my part - but I find it remarkable how the large refineries and mines are being allowed to expand, and therefore pollute even more.

I cannot live here without changes to the air quality.  It is disgusting and disgraceful.  Why would I want to start a family in an area that has a markable increase in infant autism rates due to the air pollution?  I do not feel good about asking my parents to come and visit me for another ski holiday because I am worried it will affect their health.  I discourage my friends to visit for the same reason.  "Why come skiing here, when you can just go to Colorado, or British Columbia?  Don't waste your money or your health on this place".  

We need leaders who aren't going to use the valley's geography as an excuse. Our largest polluters should not be allowed to become even larger polluters.  You need to do something about it NOW.  We need CLEARN AIR.  There are NO EXCUSES.