Welcome to the City of Minneapolis Air Quality page. Air quality is an important priority for the city as strong links exist between air pollution and health problems, especially for sensitive groups such as the elderly, children and those with respiratory and cardiac problems. Air quality is monitored in Minneapolis by collecting data from nine air quality readers. This data is fed to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) which compiles a statewide air quality index that is updated hourly.
Minneapolis Air Quality Management Authority is responsible for preventing, controlling, and regulating all sources of air pollution within Minneapolis. To read more about Minneapolis Ordinances, environmental committees, energy plans and other issues surrounding Minneapolis Air Quality Study (2008 Air Quality Report).
In Minnesota, ground-level ozone, sulfur-dioxide, carbon-monoxide and fine particles are monitored. According to the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, ozone (smog) and fine particles (soot or PM2.5) are the two major statewide concerns. MPCA uses U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Air Quality Index (AQI) that translates pollutant measurement to a common index, where an AQI value of 100 is set to reflect where health effects might be considered unhealthy for sensitive groups.
MPCA’s Air Quality index grid and legend. For more information on color-coded AQI health effects and cautionary statements, visit aqi.pca.state.mn.us.
Smog occurs mainly during the warm weather months, while fine particles are monitored year-round as even mid-range levels (101-150 particles) can be considered unhealthy for sensitive groups. Fine particles are primarily a result of industrial and vehicle combustion. People with heart or lung conditions are especially vulnerable to fine particle pollution.
What you can do to reduce air pollution:
EPA Climate Change – What You Can Do
Energy Star – Steps You Can Take To Reduce Air Pollution
CA Air Resources Board – What You Can Do
What to do when the air quality reaches unhealthy levels:
Air Quality Index and Your Health - EPA (pdf)
Ideas for teachers and educators:
CA Air Resources Board – Know Zone
Iowa DNR Air Quality – Education Tools
Community Learning Network – Air Quality Resources Texas Commission on Environmental Quality – Lesson Plans
To file a complaint regarding air emissions, odor or dust in Minneapolis, use the Environmental Management Online Complaint Form.
Last updated Aug. 13, 2012