Is there something in the air? Thanks to the work of several local businesses, the answer is actually, “less pollution!” The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency and City of Minneapolis both have grant programs in place to help businesses voluntarily reduce emissions from their operations. And, rightly so, these businesses and government agencies are getting some well-deserved recognition for their work.
Earlier this week, Congressman Keith Ellison visited Ramin Hakimi and his staff at Oscar Auto Body in Minneapolis. A few of our staff participated in the visit as part of our role connecting business-owners like Ramin to the state and local resources available to reduce emissions. By installing a new paint booth that uses less toxic waterborne paint, emissions have been reduced at Oscar Auto Body by 600-700 pounds per year.
Supporting business going green: Oscar Auto Body reduced air pollution by 70% with state & local grants! pic.twitter.com/FWuKQgPMZl
— Rep. Keith Ellison (@keithellison) June 29, 2015
In addition to Congressman Ellison’s visit to Oscar Auto Body, a few other stories about air quality, volatile organic compounds, and emissions reductions efforts have popped up recently:
- Why Minneapolis is studying (& helping businesses reduce) volatile organic compounds (Minnesota Public Radio) »
- Small Minnesota businesses use MPCA grants to reduce pollution (KSTP-TV) »
- Area source emissions and VOCs: Smaller, dispersed sources of pollution (Bjorn Olson’s recent blog post) »
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency plans to release more stringent standards for ground level ozone this coming October. We want to see programs like these continue and expand. As a larger percentage of Minnesota’s air pollution comes from smaller and more dispersed sources, voluntary projects like these are really important. Regardless of where we end up under the new standards, projects like this are part of the solution to the air quality challenges our region faces.
If you’re interested in helping us think through ways to help increase the number of businesses who get access to the resources they need to improve air quality and reduce negative health impacts, contact Bill Droessler at 612-334-3388 ext. 105.