Near-road monitoring

Air pollution can be higher close to roadways. Near-road air pollutant levels and types of air pollutants vary with traffic patterns, roadway design and vehicle mix. Monitoring near-road air pollution will help to better understand and potentially minimize near-road air pollution.

In 2010, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) introduced a new air monitoring network plan to measure air pollution levels near heavily trafficked roadways. Near-road air monitoring sites will be located within 150 feet of the busiest roadways across the country.  At a minimum, near-road monitoring sites will be required to measure hourly levels of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), carbon monoxide (CO), and fine particles (PM2.5).

In Minnesota, the MPCA is installing two near-road monitoring sites in the Twin Cities metropolitan area. The first near-road monitoring site began operating along the I-94 & I-35W freeway commons near downtown Minneapolis on January 1, 2013. The second near-road monitoring site will begin operating along I-35 near Lakeville on January 1, 2015.

To identify these locations, the MPCA ranked road segments by daily traffic counts, vehicle mix (ex: cars, buses, big trucks, etc.), roadway design, traffic congestion patterns, terrain, and projections for future traffic growth. A detailed summary of the near-road air monitoring site selection process is described in this document: PDF icon Near-road air monitoring in Minnesota: Twin Cities site identification.

Near-road: Minneapolis

The first near-road monitoring site is located along the I-94 and I-35W freeway commons near Downtown Minneapolis. The picture on the right is a photo of the monitoring station.

Map of near-road monitoring site located along the I-94 and I-35W freeway commons near Downtown Minneapolis, and a photo of the monitoring station.

As data are collected over time, MPCA staff will be analyzing the data and posting the results to this website.

Near-road: Lakeville

The second near-road monitoring site is located at 16750 Kenyon Avenue in Lakeville, MN. This site began operating on January 1, 2015.  The picture on the right is a photo of the monitoring station.

Map of near-road monitoring site located at Kenyon Ave in Lakeville, and a photo of the monitoring station.

As data are collected over time, MPCA staff will be analyzing the data and posting the results to this website.

For more information

For more information, please call 651-296-6300 or 1-800-657-3864 and ask for air data analysis staff.  More information about the MPCA’s air monitoring program is available on the Air Monitoring web page.