HEALTH

Utah governor praises cleaner-burning Tier 3 fuel coming to Utah

Nov 25, 2019, 7:05 PM
Dirty air, seen trapped here by a weather phenomenon known as a temperature inversion.

SALT LAKE CITY, UT — Cleaner burning gasoline and clearer skies are in Utah’s future.

Utah Gov. Gary Herbert joined host Doug Wright on “The Doug Wright Show” Monday to talk about Tier 3 fuels, which will be introduced for the first time to Utahns on Jan. 1 after a three-year push to bring the cleaner gasoline to Utah gas stations.

Herbert said Marathon Petroleum and its 26 Speedway convenience stores and gas stations throughout the state will begin selling Tier 3 fuel Jan. 1.  And they’ll do it with no additional cost for drivers.

“What will the Tier 3 fuels do for Utah?” Wright asked the governor.

“It has a lot less sulfur content so it burns cleaner,” Herbert said.

“There’s about an 80% reduction in emissions with Tier 3 gasoline if it’s used with Tier 3 automobiles, which are 2017 or newer,” Herbert said. “That’s like taking four of every five cars off the road now if we start burning Tier 3 fuels in Tier 3 automobiles.”

What is Tier 3 fuel?

Tier 3 emissions standards for newer vehicles reduce volatile organic compounds and nitrogen oxide emissions, per vehicle-mile traveled, by as much as 80 percent compared to previous Tier 2 standards. This results in significant reductions in ozone and secondary PM 2.5.  Several counties in Utah exceed national air quality standards for ozone and PM 2.5.

Even with older cars, the new Tier 3 fuels have about a 15% decrease in emissions, the governor said.

Governor Herbert says that, along the Wasatch Front, about half of the air pollution comes from tailpipes.

New Tier 3 requirements to limit the sulfur content in gasoline went into effect on Jan. 1, 2017. They require the U.S. refining industry to reduce the average sulfur level in gasoline by more than 60% to just 10 parts per million (ppm) from the previous 30 ppm requirement under the Tier 2 regulation. The fuel standard grants Utah’s five refineries an extra three years to comply because they are considered small volume refineries.

Herbert said that as Utah drivers begin burning Tier 3 gasoline in Tier 3 vehicles, pollution should fall by about 80%.

“Are all of the refineries in Utah on board [with Tier 3 fuels]?” Wright asked.

“Everybody is sympathetic to the cause. They don’t have to do it, but they all said they were going to step up and see what we can do,” Herbert said. “Other refineries are saying ‘We want to do it, too.'”

Herbert is anticipating other refineries announcing in early next year that they are bringing on board Tier 3 fuels.

The governor also said that Marathon Petroleum will be wholesaling Tier 3 fuels to other Utah retail gasoline outlets.

“People are going to want to buy Tier 3 gasoline,” Herbert said.

Challenges of air quality

Over the last 10 years, Herbert said, pollution along the Wasatch Front has been reduced by more than 35 percent while adding about 300,000 more people who call the Wasatch Front home.

Another challenge for cleaner air, he said, is the weather phenomenon known as a temperature inversion that strikes parts of Utah in the winter, trapping dirty, colder air underneath a layer of warmer, cleaner sky.

“Even though we pollute less, if you put a lid on top of it, over time it accumulates, and you have a gunky day,” he said.

Herbert said when he entered the governor’s office, there were about 18 gunky days on average per winter compared to about eight or nine today.

“But that’s eight or nine too many,” the governor said.

Herbert said reducing air pollution is not only about buying Tier 3 fuels. It’s about residents of the state using mass transit or ride-sharing on red-air days, he said.

It’s not just about getting corporations to fall into line, he said, but “about all of us participating in the effort to pollute less in order to have cleaner air to breathe.”

You can hear Doug Wright’s interview with Governor Herbert below.

 

We want to hear from you.

Have a story idea or tip? Send it to the KSL NewsRadio team here.

Today’s Top Stories

Health

A bill on transgender healthcare — banning transgender-related surgeries and puberty blockers for...
Eliza Pace, KSL TV and Aimee Cobabe, KSL NewsRadio

Utah Senate approves changes to transgender care bill, passes on to Gov. Cox

SB16 bans gender-confirming surgeries for minors and also places a moratorium on puberty blockers for minors.
2 days ago
Havasu Falls spills into the water pools below in Supai, Arizona, in October of 2016. Photo credit:...
Forrest Brown, CNN

Grand Canyon’s Havasu Falls to reopen to visitors after 3-year closure

 (CNN) — Havasu Falls, one of the most intriguing features of the Grand Canyon system, will be reopening to visitors after a three-year closure caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. But it’s with a catch. The reopening is scheduled for February 1; however, access will be limited initially to a certain, small group. People whose previous […]
2 days ago
White carnations representing each of the 1,746 unborn babies that were aborted in Utah in 2022 are...
Allessandra Harris and Simone Seikaly

Speeches, silence, during Pro-Life Utah memorial at the Capitol

About 100 people including Utah lawmakers and religious leaders attended the memorial on Wednesday, Jan. 25, 2023.
3 days ago
 A mental health clinic will reopen on Thursday after a carbon monoxide leak sent at least 17 peop...
Michael Locklear

Carbon monoxide poisoning at central Utah clinic hospitalizes 17 people

The Central Utah Counseling Center in Ephraim was evacuated a week ago after a problem with an old furnace was discovered.
4 days ago
a row of guns are pictured...
Mark Jones

KSL at Night: How do we solve gun violence?

KSL at Night hosts Taylor Morgan and Maura Carabello speak with Clark Aposhian, chairman of the Utah Shooting Sports Council about gun violence.
5 days ago
Prescription opioid...
Nathaniel Meyersohn, CNN

Amazon launches $5-a-month unlimited prescription plan

Some of the generic drugs included in the program include Bupropion, Cephalexin, Doxycycline, Estradiol and Sertaline.
5 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Banner with Cervical Cancer Awareness Realistic Ribbon...
Intermountain Health

Five Common Causes of Cervical Cancer – and What You Can Do to Lower Your Risk

January is National Cervical Cancer Awareness month and cancer experts at Intermountain Health are working to educate women about cervical cancer, the tests that can warn women about potential cancer, and the importance of vaccination.
Kid holding a cisco fish at winterfest...
Bear Lake Convention and Visitors Bureau

Get Ready for Fun at the 2023 Bear Lake Monster Winterfest

The Bear Lake Monster Winterfest is an annual weekend event jam-packed full of fun activities the whole family can enjoy. This year the event will be held from January 27-29 at the Utah Bear Lake State Park Marina and Sunrise Resort and Event Center in Garden City, Utah. 
happy friends with sparklers at christmas dinner...
Macey's

15 Easy Christmas Dinner Ideas

We’ve scoured the web for you and narrowed down a few of our favorite Christmas dinner ideas to make your planning easy. Choose from the dishes we’ve highlighted to plan your meal or start brainstorming your own meal plan a couple of weeks before to make sure you have time to shop and prepare.
Spicy Homemade Loaded Taters Tots...
Macey's

5 Game Day Snacks for the Whole Family (with recipes!)

Try these game day snacks to make watching football at home with your family feel like a special occasion. 
Happy joyful smiling casual satisfied woman learning and communicates in sign language online using...
Sorenson

The Best Tools for Deaf and Hard-of-Hearing Workplace Success

Here are some of the best resources to make your workplace work better for Deaf and hard-of-hearing employees.
Team supporters celebrating at a tailgate party...
Macey's

8 Delicious Tailgate Foods That Require Zero Prep Work

In a hurry? These 8 tailgate foods take zero prep work, so you can fuel up and get back to what matters most: getting hyped for your favorite
Utah governor praises cleaner-burning Tier 3 fuel coming to Utah