Project Clean Air Repair

Region

Leech Lake Nation and Minneapolis

Timeline

2017 - present

Audience

Funders and partners

Topics

Through Project Clean Air Repair (or Project CAR), Environmental Initiative creates partnerships with car repair shops to reduce emissions from older passenger vehicles. Project CAR reimburses garages for identifying and fixing vehicle exhaust systems in cars of lower-income residents. 

Currently, it is estimated that 25% of passenger vehicles cause 90% of vehicle air pollution. Older cars often have outdated or broken emission controls and exhaust equipment. By partnering with garages to repair broken emissions systems, Environmental Initiative is cleaning up some of the highest polluting cars on the road while reducing barriers to reliable transportation. 

Partner garages provide low- or no-cost repairs to emission control systems. This allows car owners to reduce their car’s emissions and prioritize paying for other repairs necessary for the safety and drivability of their car.

Recent accomplishments

250

Cars repaired since 2017.

5

Participating partner garages.

10

Tons of emission reductions achieved.

The value of collaboration

Through our partnership with Cars for Neighbors, we’re making no-cost emission system repairs on vehicles for community members. Thank you to BairStories for collaborating with us to highlight this work.

photo of mechanic repairing a car

“The amount of exhaust leaking from my car was very toxic to me, as well as to the environment and likely contributed to my health problems, which meant I was unable to work. This repair will greatly improve my health and hopefully I will be able to recover and get back to work.”

Project CAR customer at The Lift Garage

Clean Air Blogs

Board Voices: An unexpected transformation with Environmental Initiative as a catalyst for personal change

Stepping into the unknown is scary. Stepping into the unknown with the history of racism informing your worldview takes courage. Levi Brown, current Environmental Initiative board member, shares his story of transformation rooted in a meeting which led to unexpected insights and meaningful relationships.

Minneapolis works with auto shops to clear the air

At autobody shops across Minnesota, painters adorn respirators, eye protection, coveralls, and gloves to start their day. This protective attire keeps shop employees safe from the myriad of chemicals and associated air pollution that comes from solvent-based paints used to paint or refinish cars.

Board Voices: The bumpy road to transformation

Board member James Trice shares his experiences and observations of Environmental Initiative's transformation process and progress. The road is never smooth, and James encourages others to join the organization in partnership, fellowship, or sponsorship to travel together.

See All Air News

Our Experts

Rural and urban communities experience high air pollution from mobile sources such as cars. Expand Project CAR by talking to our experts today about offering financial support for this important clean air effort.

Our Partners