Air quality in Minnesota: 2007 report to the Legislature

This report to the 2007 Legislature focused on air quality and climate change issues relating to energy production and use in Minnesota. In addition, it provides an update on MPCA programs and strategies introduced in the MPCA’s 2005 Air Quality Legislative Report.

MPCA’s air program has largely focused on controlling emissions of traditional air pollutants from facilities. As a result, Minnesota has met federal air standards and maintained relatively low levels of toxic air pollutants. However, as our population, economic activity and energy use have increased, so have emissions of carbon dioxide. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas whose build-up leads to climate change.

Through conservation, efficiency and the use of cleaner, renewable energy sources, not only can emissions of carbon dioxide be reduced, but further reductions of pollutants such as fine particles, sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxides and toxic air contaminants can be achieved.