ENVIRONMENT

UDEQ said inversion is coming, provided tips for reducing pollution

Dec 12, 2023, 12:00 PM | Updated: May 30, 2024, 10:18 am

An inversion sits over the Salt Lake Valley....

Inversion over the Salt Lake Valley. (Kate Davis / KSL NewsRadio)

(Kate Davis / KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — According to the Utah Department of Environmental Quality, inversion could set in as soon as Wednesday. Working from home to avoid vehicle-caused pollution is ideal, however, not everyone has that luxury. 

Bryce Bird, the director of the Utah Department of Air Quality, said that those who are unable to telecommute can still take steps to reduce air pollution. Carpooling and riding public transportation are encouraged during inversion days.

If you are close enough to your destination, consider walking or riding a bike. 

Bird said it is important that drivers reduce idling. When a car is idling, it is unnecessarily putting out pollution.

Additionally, Bird encouraged drivers to limit the number of times they cold start their vehicles. 

“When the vehicle starts for the first time during the day it actually has much higher emissions than it does when the engine is warm,” said Bird. 

Cold starting a car means “starting the engine when the surrounding temperature is colder than that of the car’s engine,” according to Suntrup Hyundai

According to UCAIR, between 60% and 90% of emissions from vehicles weighing less than 8,500 pounds occur within the first 50 seconds of operation following a cold start.

Combining multiple trips into one can help drivers prevent making several cold starts.

Additionally, UCAIR said that combining trips can save time and gas. 

Google Maps or similar websites and apps can be used to plan the most efficient routes. Additionally, the TravelWise tracker can help track emissions and travel habits. 

Mariah Maynes contributed to this article.

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UDEQ said inversion is coming, provided tips for reducing pollution