The term “air quality” refers to the degree to which ambient (outdoor) air is free of pollution. Air pollutants are those substances present in ambient air that negatively affect human health and welfare, animal and plant life, property, and the enjoyment of life or use of property.
Air in Utah is monitored by the Division of Air Quality (DAQ), within the Department of Environmental Quality. The mission of the DAQ is to protect public health and the environment from the harmful effects of air pollution. It is the responsibility of the DAQ to ensure that the air in Utah meets health and visibility standards established under the federal Clean Air Act (CAA). To fulfill this responsibility, the DAQ is required by the federal government to ensure compliance with the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) statewide and visibility standards at national parks. The DAQ enacts rules pertaining to air quality standards, develops plans to meet the federal standards when necessary, issues preconstruction and operating permits to stationary sources, and ensures compliance with state and federal air quality rules.