SALT LAKE CITY (AP) - More than 4,000 protestors gathered in Salt Lake City on Saturday to press the government to step up the fight against air pollution in Utah.
Some demonstrators wore surgical and gas masks and others waved placards during the rally on the steps of the Capitol.
The Salt Lake Tribune reports that Salt Lake City mayor Ralph Becker reaffirmed his commitment to implementing air-friendly policies, but noted air quality is a regional issue that one city cannot change alone.
He called on state officials to address the issue, saying "it's time for action."
Dr. Brian Moench of Utah Physicians for a Healthy Environment says people's most fundamental right is to breathe the clean air, and air pollution is damaging the region's economy and quality of life as well as people's lungs.
Utah's air can be among the worst in the nation, particularly in the winter, as high-pressure systems trap smog in northern Utah valleys.