kennecott + utah air quality …

February 13, 2013

Last week, myself and several other bloggers were invited by Kennecott to a lunch and learn.  We learned more about Rio Tinto’s Kennecott, and discussed that air quality problems in Utah, and potential solutions.

There were many things I learned about Kennecott that I didn’t know before, like Kennecott is the largest private economic driver in the state of Utah, and the mine has been a fixture in the Salt Lake Valley for the last 110 years.

I also learned that Kennecott is concerned about the environment around us, and for the people of Utah.  They have made some conscious decisions to build communities, (such as Daybreak) partner with the communities on projects like the natural history museum, and be an environmental steward in the community.

Kennecott has recently spent millions and millions of dollars upgrading their haul trucks to more efficient models.  They also shut down a lot of their production in the winter time to avoid adding to the pollution during the inversion times.

Unfortunately, Utah winters are a perfect storm for pollution and bad air quality.  The Salt Lake Valley is sandwiched between two mountain ranges, so when the warm air settles above Salt Lake in the winter, and the poor quality air comes in, it gets stuck in the valley making for some yucky air.  Somedays, you can’t even see the beautiful mountains Utah is known for.
So, what can we do?
I think this winter the inversion has been particularly bad, and we all want something done about it.  But, the fact is we all have environmental stewardship.  The main source of air pollution in Utah is us, small businesses, homes, commercial spaces, cars!  To learn more, visit the Kennecott air quality page.
So, hopefully we can each make small changes to help our community!
Now that I’ve gone over the deep stuff, have you ever been up to the Kennecott copper mine?  It is open April through October, weather permitting, and it is really a sight to see!  The Kennecott visitors center is also very informative and interesting.  My kids had a great time when we went last year!
 Can you believe that is just the tire that goes on their huge trucks?
It was very interesting to learn that it is the largest man-made hole in the world!
(Photos by me, and Kennecott)
*Disclosure:  I was compensated for my time and this post by Kennecott, all thoughts and opinions are my own.

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