Criteria air pollutants - include six major pollutants for which there are federal standards. These pollutants are particulate matter (PM2.5 and PM10), sulfur dioxide (SO2), nitrogen oxides (NOX), ozone (O3), carbon monoxide (CO) and Lead (Pb). Ozone is not directly emitted so a group of ozone precursors called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is included instead. Criteria air pollutants are estimated annually. Data for criteria air pollutants are available for all years.
Air toxics – Many other pollutants are released in smaller amounts than most of the criteria pollutants but are still toxic. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) refers to chemicals that can cause serious health and environmental hazards as air toxics. Air toxics include chemicals such as benzene and formaldehyde. Visit here for the full list of air toxics. Air toxics are estimated every three years. Data for air toxics are only currently available for 2008 and 2011. Air toxics data for 2014 will be available soon.
Greenhouse gases – Upon release to the atmosphere, greenhouse gases warm the atmosphere and surface of the planet, leading to alterations in the earth’s climate. The MPCA tracks and reports emissions for six greenhouse gases: carbon dioxide (CO₂), nitrous oxide (N₂O), methane (CH₄), sulfur hexafluoride (SF₆), and two classes of compounds known collectively as hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) and perfluorocarbons (PFCs). Greenhouse gas emissions are estimated annually and reported in CO2-equivalents (CO2-e). Data for greenhouse gas emissions are available for all years starting in 2012.
For more information
For staff contact information and additional information on the data, criteria, air toxic, greenhouse gas pollutants and the MPCA’s air emission inventory program visit the Air emissions and Staff contacts page.