Happy President’s Day everyone!
Earlier this month, I was invited as a Utah blogger to sit down for lunch with Rio Tinto’s Kennecott to talk about Utah’s air quality and help discuss solutions. Before we dove into the discussion, we learned a bunch about Kennecott and it’s big roll in the Utah community.
The Kennecott copper mine (which is owned by Rio Tinto) is the largest man made hole in the world. You can even see it from space! Along with being a neat place to field trip to with the family, we learned a few things about Kennecott that I thought were really neat:
- Rio Tinto’s Kennecott is the largest private economic driver in the state of Utah, and has been for over 100 years.
- Kennecott is concerned about our environment including Utah’s air quality.
- Kennecott has invested a lot into our community; like building communities such as Daybreak.
- they have also been an important partner on big community projects like the new natural history museum.
The main reason for our visit, was to discuss Utah’s air quality.
In the last few years, Kennecott has spent millions of dollars upgrading their giant hauling trucks to be more efficient. They also shut down a lot of their production during the winter to avoid adding to the pollution during times when the inversion is the worst.
With the cold air pushing down and the mountains surrounding us, bad air gets trapped in the valley. For those with asthma or other breathing issues, the air quality is of greater concern, but really, the air quality is an issue for all of us.
There are things we all can do to improve air quality. Most of these things are related to your car. While it’s easy to wonder how much it helps to turn you car off at the drive thru, or picking up your kids from school, the truth is we can see a big difference if we all make small changes.
I think it’s interesting that a few of these tips – like driving the speed limit – will also help extend the life of your car, and in turn help keep more money in your pocket (because you’ll pay less at the pump).
Below are a few charts on how Kennecott impacts our air quality, and how they are continuing to take steps to reduce their impact.
They have made a lot of changes in the last few years that are definitely making an impact for good on our air quality.
During our discussion, one thing that stood out to me is that we have dealt with poor air quality during the winter in Utah for decades. If anything, we are more aware of it now and taking steps to make it better. When it really comes down to who is to blame for our bad air quality, we ALL have responsibility. It takes conversations like this to be a reminder for all of us to do our part.
I’d love to know, what are your biggest concerns when it comes to the air quality in Utah? Are there things you are doing to help the situation?
*Disclosure I was compensated for this post, but all thoughts and opinions here are my own.