Air pollution monitoring and modeling

MPCA air monitoring equipment and staff

The MPCA uses air monitoring and air modeling to study outdoor air quality across Minnesota.

Air monitoring

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency operates a network of air monitors throughout Minnesota. These monitors measure pollutants in outdoor air around the clock and throughout the year. The results track pollution trends over time, show whether outdoor air meets federal and state air quality standards, and help us understand if the air is healthy to breathe.

MPCA submits air pollution monitoring data to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency as well as sharing it with Minnesotans. The MPCA’s Air Data page provides more information on air pollution monitoring and emissions data collected in Minnesota. Monitoring results from states and tribes across the country are available on the U.S. EPA’s Air Data website.

Air modeling

A map of Minnesota with gray, green, and blue shading.

Air models are computer programs that can predict pollution levels in areas that don’t have an air monitor or for pollutants that are difficult to monitor. Models use existing monitoring data and estimated emissions from pollution sources. The MPCA uses models to set appropriate emission limits for facilities, study the regional transport of pollution across state borders, and forecast future air quality in Minnesota.

The MPCA’s statewide air modeling page provides modeling results that identify and prioritize sources of air pollution in Minnesota. Modeling results for states and tribes across the country are available on the U.S. EPA’s National Air Toxics Assessment.

The MPCA also uses air models to forecast air quality and provide warnings of upcoming air quality alerts.

Visit Current air quality to see today’s air quality and the current air quality forecast for Minnesota.

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