Clean Air Minnesota

Minnesota is fortunate to have generally good air quality that has improved over the last decade for most pollutants. However, despite voluntary emission reduction efforts, improved technologies, and cleaner air, there is uncertainty about whether Minnesota will remain in compliance with federal air quality standards.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) sets health-based air quality standards for fine particulate matter and ground-level ozone, two pollutants linked to numerous respiratory and cardiovascular problems. As research continues, negative health effects are being observed at even lower concentrations of air pollution.  Because of this, federal air quality standards are predicted to become stricter over time.

About Clean Air Minnesota

Clean Air Minnesota is a diverse coalition of air quality leaders convened by Environmental Initiative who are working voluntarily and proactively to reduce air pollution.

The overarching goal of Clean Air Minnesota is to reduce man-made sources of fine particulate matter (soot) and ground-level ozone (smog) by 10%.

To meet this goal, Clean Air Minnesota partners are working to:

  • 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 on a regular basis.

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 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.

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

Teams meet on a monthly or bi-monthly basis, with full meetings of the Clean Air Minnesota partnership occurring in March, June, September, and December of each calendar year. A full schedule of Clean Air Minnesota meetings is available here.

Clean Air Minnesota Project Teams

Small Business Team

Area sources of air pollution are more widespread and aren’t as highly regulated as large industrial facilities like power plants. Examples of area sources include small businesses like dry cleaners, gasoline service stations, commercial printers, and auto body shops.

Clean Air Minnesota’s area source team is working to maximize emission reduction opportunities from these smaller sources. The area source team does this through outreach programs, grants or other financial assistance, technical support, and training.

Current Activities

Get Involved

Contact Bjorn Olson at 612-334-3388 ext. 8113 with questions or to serve on the Clean Air Minnesota area source team.

Mobile Source Team

Nearly fifty percent of air pollution in Minnesota comes from mobile sources of air pollution like diesel-powered trucks, construction equipment, and other moving sources. Diesel engines can be important for our economy, but they also negatively affect air quality and public health.

Since 2006, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction grants and Environmental Initiative’s Project Green Fleet, have reduced diesel pollution from fine particles equivalent to taking 750,000 cars off the road. Taking those cars off the road means eliminating 45 tons of fine particle pollution per year through diesel equipment replacement or retrofitting with cleaner options.

Clean Air Minnesota’s mobile source team is working to maximize emission reduction opportunities from diesel fleets and other mobile sources of air pollution.

Current Activities

Get Involved

Contact Bjorn Olson at 612-334-3388 ext. 8113 with questions or to serve on the Clean Air Minnesota mobile source team.

Wood Smoke Team

Many Minnesota residents and small businesses utilize wood burning as a primary heat source, creating wood smoke as a result. While wood burning can be beneficial to the economy, it can also have serious health effects over time. Swapping out just one old, outdated wood stove for a new, more energy-efficient model is the pollution reduction equivalent of removing over 700 cars from the road per year.

Clean Air Minnesota’s wood smoke team is working to maximize emission reduction opportunities from wood burning sources through a pilot wood stove exchange program, information sharing, outreach, and education.

Current Projects

Get Involved

Contact Bjorn Olson at 612-334-3388 ext. 8113 with questions or to serve on the Clean Air Minnesota wood smoke team.

Meeting Information & Schedule

Clean Air Minnesota Partner Group meetings are open to the public. Individuals interested the conversation are welcome to attend and observe.

View the 2015-2017 meeting schedule

Can’t find what you’re looking for? Contact Bill Droessler at 612-334-3388 ext. 8105.

Partner Group Roster

Air quality leaders from businesses, government agencies, nonprofits, and academia serve as members of Clean Air Minnesota. The Clean Air Minnesota Work Group meets on a quarterly basis and is committed to voluntarily and proactively reducing emissions.

Clean Air Minnesota is co-chaired by the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy and the Minnesota Chamber of Commerce.

CLEAN AIR MINNESOTA CO-CHAIRS

Leigh Currie, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

CLEAN AIR MINNESOTA PARTNER GROUP

Paul Aasen, Environmental Initiative Board of Directors

Laura Babcock, Minnesota Technical Assistance Program

Jessica Burdette, Minnesota Department of Commerce

Mike Cashin, Minnesota Power

Karen Clark, Women’s Environmental Institute

Lynn Clarkowski, Minnesota Department of Transportation

Shalini Gupta, Center for Earth, Energy and Democracy

Patrick Hanlon, City of Minneapolis

Mike Hansel, Barr Engineering

Zack Hansen, Ramsey County

Anne Hunt, City of Saint Paul

Jim Kelly, Minnesota Department of Health

Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Charlie Lippert, Mille Lacs Band of Ojibwe

Kelly Marczak, American Lung Association

Carl Michaud, Hennepin County

Chris Nelson, 3M

Peter Raynor, University of Minnesota School of Public Health

Heather Rein, Flint Hills Resources

Rick Rosvold, Xcel Energy

Dana Slade, HealthPartners

Mark Filipi, Metropolitan Council

Scott Strand, Environmental Law & Policy Center

David Thornton, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Jeff Travis, Local Public Health Association

CLEAN AIR MINNESOTA CORE TEAM

The Core Team serves in an advisory capacity to Environmental Initiative staff for the Clean Air Minnesota partnership.

Paul Aasen, Environmental Initiative Board of Directors

Leigh Currie, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy

Mike Hansel, Barr Engineering

Anne Hunt, City of Saint Paul

Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce

Chris Nelson, 3M

Heather Rein, Flint Hills Resources

Dana Slade
HealthPartners

Scott Strand, Environmental Law & Policy Center

David Thornton, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Jason Willett, Metropolitan Council