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KUER News and RadioWest are bringing you a series of stories and conversations on Utah's air. It's easy to look at the haze on a red air quality day and say that something needs to be done about it. But what? We'll be talking about the roles that individuals, industry and government can play in cleaning up Utah's air quality. We'll also look at what the costs may to be to our economy and our health if we don't.

Citizens Demand Action on Air Pollution

Hear the full report.

Utah citizens and activists gathered on the steps of the Capitol Wednesday to demand action to clean up the state’s polluted air.  The rally was part of a grassroots effort, including a Facebook campaign and petition.

University of Utah student Carl Ingwell started the Facebook campaign, urging people to inundate the Utah governor’s office with calls and e-mails, demanding action. His campaign led him to the steps of the Capitol, speaking to about 150 concerned citizens.

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“This problem will be solved by people - individuals like you and me, it’ll be solved by corporations stepping in and doing their share, and it will be solved by policy change at the governmental level.  That’s what we’re asking for.”

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Four Democratic legislators spoke in support of the group’s efforts at the rally - Sen. Pat Jones, Rep. Patrice Arent, Rep. Marie Poulson and Rep. Brian King. 

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Afterwards, the group flooded into Governor Gary Herbert’s office to deliver a petition signed by more than 7500 people. The petition asks the governor to declare a public health emergency.  It also advises the governor to lower speed limits, offer free public transportation, and require industrial polluters to lower emissions.  The Governor was in Washington DC, but Herbert said via twitter that everyone is responsible for cleaning up Utah’s air.

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Copyright 2013 KUER 90.1

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Andrea Smardon is new at KUER, but she has worked in public broadcasting for more than a decade. Most recently, she worked as a reporter and news announcer for WGBH radio. While in Boston, she produced stories for Morning Edition, Marketplace Money, and The World. Her print work was published in The Boston Globe and Boston.com. Prior to that, she worked at Seattleââ