Minneapolis Sustainability

350 S. 5th Street, Room 315M
Minneapolis, MN 55415
sustainability@minneapolismn.gov

energy-challenge

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Ambient Air Quality

Target

Reduce air pollution in the Minneapolis area to health-based levels recommended by the Clean Air Scientific Advisory Committee (CASAC) of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

Trend Analysis

The 2012 Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's air monitoring results showed a continued improvement in air quality in relation to individual days over the sustainability indicator for PM 2.51. There has been an 88 percent drop in bad air quality days since 2007 for PM 2.5. In 2012 we were as close as we have ever been to meeting the 2015 target for PM 2.5 since the current sustainability targets were set.

In 2012 the metro region saw an increase in the number of days exceeding the ozone2 sustainability target, from 16 to 28 days. These high numbers were likely due to above average temperatures in the summer of 2012. These numbers may also be influenced by above average emissions from wildfires in the U.S. in 2012. Local volatile organic compound (VOCs) emissions from automobiles, commercial/industrial process and consumer products reacts with nitrogen oxide emissions (e.g., from wildfires) to form ground level ozone. With average temperatures and extreme heat events on the rise due to global climate change, emissions reduction will remain a high priority in keeping down ozone levels.

1PM 2.5 refers to fine particles that are 2.5 micrometers in diameter and smaller that can pass through the throat and nose and enter the lungs, having serious health effects.
2Ozone is an air pollutant in the lower atmosphere that creates smog and has harmful effects on respiratory systems and plants.

Data sources: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, City of Minneapolis Environmental Services. View data and notes.

Last updated Jun 5, 2014