New Book by WSU Professor Addresses Utah’s Air Quality Problems and Solutions

OGDEN, Utah - A newly released collection of edited essays titled “Utah’s Air Quality Issues: Problems and Solutions,” provides an easy-to-understand overview of challenges to the state caused by pollution.

The volume, edited by Hal Crimmel, Weber State University English department chair, is a collaboration among scholars from a variety of fields. It outlines the causes, impacts and possible solutions to Utah’s air-quality concerns.

“Utah has an air-pollution problem,” Crimmel said. “We’re not alone; many cities across the country and around the world do as well. Citizen activism, enlightened public policy and technological advances can make a real difference in improving things.”

According to Crimmel, “Utah’s Air Quality Issues: Problems and Solutions” is the first book to focus exclusively on the state’s poor air quality. Specific areas throughout Utah have been ranked among the worst in the nation, including the metropolitan Wasatch Front.

The authors provide easy-to-adopt life-style changes that could have a big impact on improving air quality. They advise that residents keep thermostats turned down and lights off when not at home. Drivers should not let a vehicle idle, and Utahns should not burn wood, which contributes a disproportionate percentage of pollution in winter months. Voters should also elect candidates who support clean-air legislation. 

“I would characterize what I do in the classroom as the environmental humanities — blending the insights of multiple disciplines and focusing them on issues having to do with water, land and air,” Crimmel said. “As an English professor, my skill is helping students see there are multiple ways to address environmental issues. Communicating these issues to the public is of utmost importance. As a writer, my goal is to focus on environmental issues from an interdisciplinary perspective and make these insights accessible to the general reader.”

Crimmel earned a bachelor of arts from Colby College, a master’s and doctorate in English at the University at Albany, SUNY. He is a Rodney H. Brady Distinguished Professor and was the co-chair of WSU’s Faculty Senate Environmental Issues Committee. He also has presented regularly at national conferences, published five books and contributed to numerous articles and several films. Crimmel has been a Fulbright Scholar and a visiting professor in Germany, China and Austria.

“Utah’s Air Quality Issues: Problems and Solutions” is available for purchase in multiple book stores and sites.

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Hal Crimmel, English professor/department chair
801-626-8044 •


Karen Valdez, Office of Marketing & Communications
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