Clean Air Minnesota


State of Minnesota


2003 - present


Clean Air Minnesota is a coalition of air quality leaders convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce reduce man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground-level ozone (smog).

Together, we:

  • Identify and prioritize strategies to reduce air pollution.
  • Develop, fund, and implement projects to improve air quality.
  • Track emissions reductions achieved and share outcomes with the wider community.

According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, the majority of the air pollutants of concern today come from smaller, widespread sources that are not regulated in the way power plants and factories are. These sources include cars, trucks, construction equipment, small businesses, and residential wood burning.

These sources contribute nearly 75 percent of air pollution emissions in the state.

Recent accomplishments

Between 2019 – 2021, Environmental Initiative and our partners have achieved the following emissions reductions:

190 tons

of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs)

75 tons

of Nitrogen Oxides (NOx)

370 tons

of Fine Particulate Matter (PM 2.5)

Our Leadership

Clean Air Minnesota is co-chaired by the American Lung Association in Minnesota and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce. The individuals listed below serve in an advisory capacity to Environmental Initiative staff for the partnership.

  • Jon Hunter, American Lung Association – Co-chair
  • Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – Co-chair
  • Paul Aasen, Minnesota Safety Council
  • David Benke, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Dan Donkers, Ramsey County
  • Patrick Hanlon, City of Minneapolis
  • Mike Hansel, Barr Engineering
  • Megan Kuhl-Stennes, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Scott Lindemann, Flint Hills Resources
  • Craig McDonnell, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Chris Nelson, 3M
  • Rick Patraw, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Sydney Schaaf, City of Minneapolis
  • Jessie Shmool, Minnesota Department of Health
  • Scott Strand, Environmental Law & Policy Center
  • Brian Timerson, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
  • Jeff Travis, Washington County
pollution from vehicles

Project Teams

Clean Air Minnesota partners are working to reduce emissions from mobile sources, small businesses (area sources), and wood smoke. These teams coordinate, collaborate, and develop specific projects to reduce emissions from Minnesota’s smaller, widespread, and less regulated sources of air pollution.

Our Experts

Our team brings collaboration, communication, convening, project development, and project management strengths to the Clean Air Minnesota partnership.

Contact us to discuss our model and program development opportunities.

Clean Air News

Our Clean Air Minnesota quarterly newsletter highlights active projects, success stories, ways to get involved, events to attend, and news about Minnesota’s air quality.

Clean Air Blogs

New research reinforces need for emissions reductions, Clean Air Minnesota

Over the past several weeks, new research has added to growing bodies of evidence demonstrating the catastrophic consequences of air pollution and inequitable distribution of impacts along racial and socioeconomic lines. Each time studies like these are published,…

East Metro businesses prevent pollution through voluntary upgrades

Many small businesses, including auto body shops and dry cleaners emit at least some chemicals known as volatile organic compounds (VOCs) into the air. These chemicals are harmful to human health. VOCs also react with other gases to form other air pollutants when released into the air. Improving health and safety is why Environmental Initiative…

Dry cleaner cost share program launched

Perchloroethylene or “perc” is a hazardous solvent once commonly used in dry cleaning operations. Minnesota Governor Tim Walz signed HF91, a bipartisan bill banning a harmful dry cleaning solvent into law during 2021. In addition to the chemical ban, the bill…

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Our Partners