Generally, the air we breathe in Minnesota is good. Even with improved technologies, and cleaner air, people and the planet continue to experience negative health effects from air pollution.
Air pollution today comes from smaller, widespread sources that are not regulated in the way power plants and factories are. These smaller sources include cars, trucks, construction equipment, residential wood burning and residential garbage burning. These sources contribute nearly 75 percent of air pollution emissions in the state and often these sources impact people living in financially or socially stressed communities.
Clean Air Minnesota partners and Environmental Initiative staff are working to reduce emissions from these sources. Three of our programs were recently awarded additional funds to further this important work.
Project Green Fleet received $651,104.50 in Diesel Emission Reduction Act, often referred to as DERA, off-road replacement project funding from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. The funding will be used to replace four off-road vehicles: one mining haul truck for Cleveland Cliffs, one excavator for S.M. Hentges & Sons, Inc., and one excavator and one crawler tractor for Landwehr Construction.
The Project CAR team is finalizing details of a new grant agreement with the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency. Project CAR helps local auto shops offer repairs to owners of high-emitting vehicles. Vehicles with outdated or broken emission controls and exhaust equipment are responsible for a disproportionate amount of the emissions. Partner garages provide low- or no-cost repairs for car and light truck owners who do not have the financial resources to pay for the often-expensive repairs.
The 3MGives Foundation awarded our Clean Air Assistance Project $75,000 to focus on air emission reduction projects in community. Through this project, small business owners of dry cleaning, printing, industrial painting and auto body shops are provided technical and financial resources in a transition to more environmentally friendly equipment, processes, and products.
Clean Air Minnesota is a diverse coalition of air quality leaders from community, business, government, and non-profit organizations convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce air pollution. The Clean Air Minnesota partners invite people interested in clean air to join an upcoming webinar on community participation in air quality programs.