There are many small, but critical sources of air pollution in our homes and neighborhoods. Sources such as lawn mowers, dry cleaners, backyard fires, and auto-body shops are located where we live and work, which means we are frequently exposed to their emissions, sometimes for long periods of time. Total emissions from these smaller but widespread sources are significantly greater than all the industrial sources in the state combined.
Addressing these sources is challenging. Because of the large number of these sources and the often small size of their individual emissions, it is difficult to regulate them through traditional air permitting. For some types of equipment, the EPA or the states may require manufacturers to produce lower-emitting equipment. However, older equipment can last a long time, continuing to operate with higher emissions.
The MPCA works with partners to reduce emissions from these neighborhood sources of pollution:
- Partners with Clean Air Minnesota to develop innovative approaches to reducing emissions.
- Offers help for businesses to reduce VOC emissions.
- Partners with EPA to develop voluntary emissions reduction projects as part of the Particulate Matter and Ozone Advance Program.
- Increases awareness of air quality: Current air quality
All Minnesotans can take actions to cut emissions from these activities. Using electric yard equipment, choosing more efficient appliances and heating systems, minimizing recreational wood burning in densely populated areas, or using lower-emitting chemicals in our homes are things that we can all choose to do to reduce our contributions to Minnesota’s air pollution.