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 percent.

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 and
  • 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. Partners form teams that 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 quarterly.

Clean Air Minnesota Project Teams

Area Source Team

Area sources of air pollution are more widespread and less highly regulated than 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, other financial assistance opportunities, technical support and training.

Current Activities

Get Involved

Contact Jon Emerson-Kramer at 612-334-3388 ext. 8109 with questions or to serve on the Clean Air Minnesota area source team.

Mobile Source Team

Nearly 50 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 2005, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency’s Diesel Emission Reduction Act 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 Jon Emerson-Kramer at 612-334-3388 ext. 8109 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. Wood smoke can have serious health and environmental 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 Jon Emerson-Kramer at 612-334-3388 ext. 8109 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. Please sign up for our clean air emails to receive notifications and invitations to these meetings.

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.



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

Kathryn Hoffman, Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy – Co-chair

Tony Kwilas, Minnesota Chamber of Commerce – Co-chair

Paul Aasen, Environmental Initiative Board of Directors

David Benke, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Dan Donkers, Ramsey County

Bill Droessler, Environmental Initiative

Sam Grant, MN350

Patrick Hanlon, City of Minneapolis

Mike Hansel, Barr Engineering

Jon Hunter, American Lung Association

Megan Kuhl-Stennes, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Scott Lindemann, Flint Hills Resources

Chris Nelson, 3M

Heather Rein, Flint Hills Resources

Jessie Shmool, Minnesota Department of Health

Scott Strand, Environmental Law & Policy Center

Jeff Travis, Washington County