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). The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) emissions inventory estimates emissions for five criteria pollutants (PM10, SO2, NOX, CO and Pb). Ozone is not directly emitted so a group of ozone precursors called volatile organic compounds (VOCs) is included instead.
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.
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) estimates emissions for five principal source types:
- Point sources: Typically, large, stationary sources with high emissions such as electric power plans.
- Nonpoint: Typically stationary sources but generally smaller sources of emissions than point sources. Examples include dry cleaners, gasoline service stations, and residential wood combustion.
- Mobile: Mobile sources are broken down into two categories: onroad vehicles and nonroad sources. Onroad vehicles include vehicles that operate on highways, streets and roads. Nonroad sources include off-road vehicles such as lawn and garden and construction equipment.
- Fires: Fire emissions are defined as emissions produced by inadvertent or intentional agricultural burning, prescribed burning or forest wild fires.
- Biogenic: Include emissions from natural sources such as soils and vegetation.
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.