Cache County Executive Lynn Lemon says he was surprised and pleased to learn that Cache County stands to receive almost $500,000 in federal money to fight air pollution this winter. The state of Utah has changed how it divides up funds to fight air pollution in the state. Box Elder and Tooele counties also stand to benefit from the changes that will free up more money through the Congestion Mitigation and Air Quality program. On KVNU’s Crosstalk show Monday, Lemon said Cache Valley has very good air most of the time but there are some bad days during winter inversions that cause the local health department to declare Red air days, banning wood burning and strongly encouraging limited driving. Lemon said there are a lot of programs out there that the county will be examining to help mitigate pollution concerns. “There are companies that are developing fuel additives,” Lemon explained. “There are companies that are developing things that you can attach to your engine that will make them more fuel efficient. “I think we need to look at all of these different programs, something that might be related to improving the air, and then decide where we think the most improvement will be, then spend the money in that area.” Lemon says he feels a lot of the pollution is caused by vehicles and people should be encouraged to repair or replace the cars that are polluters. Cache Metropolitan Planning Organization officials also say the funds can be used for a variety of emission-reduction measures and programs that demonstrate air quality benefits. Those programs could include bicycle and pedestrian facilities, public transportation programs, public education and outreach.
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