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Utah’s poor air quality under spotlight again

Smog covers Salt Lake City as an inversion lingers. (Qiling Wang, Deseret News)

By BRADY McCOMBS, Associated Press

SALT LAKE CITY (AP) — Northern Utah’s air quality issues that flare up in the winter are back under the spotlight as a coalition of environmental groups is putting the Environmental Protection Agency on notice it will sue if it doesn’t hold Utah and Arizona accountable for missing deadlines to submit plans to clean up air pollution.

The Center for Biological Diversity filed a notice of intent to sue on Thursday, the first step required to legally challenge the EPA.

Attorney Robert Ukeiley says the government has two months to act or a lawsuit will be filed.

EPA spokesman Richard Mylott didn’t return requests for comment. He is out of the office due to the government shutdown.

Utah Air Quality Director Bryce Bird says the state’s plan was approved Wednesday and should be submitted soon.

Arizona officials didn’t immediately return requests for comment.