Utah Legislature Passes Significant Legislation to Protect and Improve the Great Salt Lake

February 29, 2024

The Utah Legislature passed a monumental and historic piece of legislation, H.B. 453 Great Salt Lake Revisions, which will protect the waters of the Great Salt Lake and ensure extraction industries work together with state leaders to improve the health of the lake and surrounding wetlands.

“Over the past few years, the state, local governments, private sector, and everyday citizens have done their part to ensure the Great Salt Lake is around for future generations,” said Rep. Casey Snider, sponsor of H.B. 453. “H.B. 453 is another huge step in the right direction as we work to keep water in the lake. I am grateful for the good-faith efforts and voluntary agreements of the mineral extraction companies to work with the state to address the concerns of a shrinking lake.” 

For decades, mineral companies have operated under contracts that were negotiated during a time with significantly different ecological conditions on the lake. H.B. 453 reevaluates that paradigm and ensures water conserved by Utah farmers, businesses, governments, and citizens will not only make it to the Great Salt Lake, but will also remain in the lake. Additionally, this bill allows mineral companies to continue extracting critical minerals, while ensuring the people of Utah and the state receive fair compensation for the use of our minerals. Revenue generated by the sale of those minerals will be allocated back into the lake for conservation and management efforts. 

“Protecting and preserving the Great Salt Lake remains one of our top goals,” said Sen. Scott Sandall, co-sponsor of H.B. 453. “It’s no small task and we cannot do it alone. I applaud all who have done their part to ensure the Great Salt Lake remains a healthy and vital part of Utah – including government, private companies and everyday Utahns.” 

“Improving and preserving the sustainability of the Great Salt Lake is a vital goal we all share, and one to which we must all contribute,” said Edward C. Dowling Jr., Compass Minerals’ president and CEO. “We greatly appreciate the collaborative approach of the bill sponsors and the Utah Division of Forestry, Fire and State Lands to ensure this legislation enables continued responsible mineral extraction as we all work toward the long-term health of the Lake.”  

H.B. 453 passed the Legislature with overwhelming bipartisan support and awaits the consideration and signature of the governor. 

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