Minneapolis Health Department

Public Service Center
250 S. 4th. Street, Room 510
Minneapolis, MN 55415
(612) 673-2301

Point Sources of Air Pollution


The conversion of the Riverside Coal Plant to natural gas will result in the greatest improvement in air quality in a generation. The City of Minneapolis led other levels of government in advocating early, forcefully and consistently for this conversion.

Table below illustrates the dramatic impact of this conversion:

Pollutant Current Emissions Tons/year % Reduction
Amount Reduced Tons/year Projected Emissions Tons/year
Sulfur oxides 9,950 100 9,950 0
Nitrogen oxides 9,669 98 9502 167
Carbon monoxide 287 29 64 223
Particulate matter (PM10) 579 100 579 0
Totals 20,485 98 20,095 390

Toxic Release Inventory Facilities

The federal Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know Act (EPCRA) provides key information about toxic chemicals being released into the environment. The law requires facilities in certain industries (Toxic Release Inventory or TRI facilities), which manufacture, process, or use significant amounts of toxic chemicals, to report annually on their releases of these chemicals.

City Environmental and Fire Inspectors have conducted very effective joint inspections of major TRI facilities in recent years. These inspections have addressed life safety and environmental problems, and they have coincided with the dramatic decreases noted in figure.

Fire and Environmental Inspections result in fewer emissions and, very importantly, fewer hazardous materials incidents.

Air Permits

Air quality permits are legally binding documents that include enforceable conditions with which the source owner/operator must comply. Some permit conditions are general to all types of emission units and some permit conditions are specific to the source.

Overall, the permit conditions establish limits on the types and amounts of air pollution allowed, operating requirements for pollution control devices or pollution prevention activity, and monitoring and record keeping requirements. There are two major types of permits: state and federal. In general, federal permits are required for the larger emitters of air pollutants. In Minnesota, state permits address specific strategies approved by the federal government to regulate minor sources of air emissions and to attain compliance with broader air quality federal laws and regulations. State permits generally do not expire and have fewer requirements than federal permits.It can take anywhere from six months to a year or longer to issue individual total facility permits depending on the number of complicated issues involved. City Environmental staff works closely with MPCA air quality staff on the issuance of permits in the City of Minneapolis.

Utilities, TRI facilities and Air Permitted facilities

Last updated Apr 6, 2012