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Clean air is critical for every person in every area of the state. It improves the health of residents, decreases health care costs, and helps create communities that attract and retain business.

The MPCA strives to ensure all people in Minnesota have clean air, regardless of where they live or work. Overall pollution levels have declined considerably over the past few decades due to environmental regulations, technology improvements, and lifestyle changes informed by a growing awareness of the health impacts of air pollution.

But while we are fortunate to enjoy good air quality in Minnesota compared to other states, some communities are disproportionately affected by air pollution, including lower-income communities and Black, Indigenous, and communities of color. The MPCA continues to focus on improving air quality in overburdened communities and to work toward environmental justice.

Air quality monitoring

The MPCA operates a network of air monitors at more than 50 locations around the state that constantly measure pollutants in outdoor air. Using monitoring data, the agency can track pollution trends over time and show whether outdoor air meets air quality standards and health benchmarks.

Air quality regulations

The MPCA works in many ways to protect and improve Minnesota’s air quality. The MPCA regulates facilities as directed by the Clean Air Act and reviews and issues air permits. We also find creative ways to reduce emissions from the smaller, more widespread sources across the state.

See Air quality trends and data for more information.