Air Healthy to Breathe
Under the Clean Air Act, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) is required to set and review National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS) for six common outdoor air pollutants (also known as “criteria” air pollutants): nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb).
Four of these pollutants (NO2, SO2, CO, and Pb) emit directly from a variety of sources. Ozone is not directly emitted, but is formed when oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and volatile organic compounds (VOCs) react in the presence of sunlight. PM can be emitted, or it can be formed when emissions of NOx, sulfur oxides (SOx), ammonia, organic compounds and other gases react in the atmosphere.
It is important for states to regulate these pollutants to minimize harmful health effects to Americans. Learn more.
Ambient Air Pollution
X out of x standards measured in Minnesota are currently at or below the National Ambient Air Quality Standards (NAAQS).
Ambient (or atmospheric) air quality refers to the concentration of pollutants in the outdoor air. Ambient air is regulated by the U.S. EPA and maintained by states through the NAAQS, which are the set of guidelines for acceptable concentrations of nitrogen dioxide (NO2), ground-level ozone (O3), sulfur dioxide (SO2), particulate matter (PM), carbon monoxide (CO), and lead (Pb).
NAAQS seek to protect the public, especially people in “sensitive” populations such as asthmatics, children, and the elderly, from harmful ambient air pollutants.
Percent Above or Below NAAQS Standard
|National Ambient Air Quality Standard (NAAQS)||NAAQS Value||xxxx Value||% Above or Below NAAQS|
|Carbon Monoxide (CO) Not to be exceeded more than once per year (ppm)||9||xx||xx.x%|
|Nitrous Dioxide (NO2) Annual Mean (ppb)||53||xx||xx.x%|
|Nitrous Dioxide (NO2) 98th percentile of 1-hour daily maximum concentrations, averaged over 3 years||100||xx||xx.x%|
|Ozone (O3) Annual 4th highest daily max 8-hour concentration, avg over 3 years (ppm)||0.070||xx||xx.x%|
|Particles 10 μm or less (PM10) 2nd daily max (ppm)||150||xx||xx.x%|
|Particles 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) Weighted Annual Mean (ppm)||12.0||xx||xx.x%|
|Particles 2.5 μm or less (PM2.5) 98% of 24-hour avg||35||xx||xx.x%|
|Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) 99% of 1-hr daily max concentrations, avg over 3 years||75||xx||xx.x%|
|Sulfur Dioxide (SO2) Not to be exceeded more than once per year||30||xx||xx.x%|
Healthy and Thriving Communities
In their 2014-2018 Strategic Plan, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) cites that partnership among all levels of government will enable communities to grow in ways that strengthen economies, use public resources more efficiently, and revitalize neighborhoods. States are particularly invested in sustainable infrastructure to prevent and reduce communities’ exposures to contaminants, accelerate the pace of cleanups, and reduce environmental impacts associated with land use. Investments in rebuilding communities and controlling hazardous pollutants and substances enable states and federal partners to return land to its productive use. Learn more.
Economic Indicators versus Emissions of Common Pollutants
Since xxxx, Minnesota's economy demonstrated continuous growth, its population increased, and its citizens drove more miles.
Concurrently, the combined emissions of common outdoor air pollutants xxxxed by xx%.
Communities directly affect pollutant emissions as populations increase and citizens engage in activities like driving cars. Common outdoor air pollutants are carbon monoxide (CO), nitrous oxides (NOs), particulate matter (PM), sulfur dioxide (SO2), and volatile organic compounds (VOCs).
Less and Properly Managed Waste
To adequately protect public health and the environment from hazardous waste contamination, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and states monitor and implement the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA), the national framework of solid waste control. States have various metrics in place to illustrate how waste is managed and if facilities are complying with the appropriate regulations.
Facilities Under the Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA)
RCRA protects communities and resource conservation through safe management and cleanup of solid and hazardous waste, and encouragement of source reduction and beneficial use. Addressing sites undergoing corrective action where groundwater is involved is a process that typically takes years. Thus there are only a few sites cleaned up on an annual basis. Learn more.
% of Underground Storage Tank Facilities in Significant Operational Compliance Over Time (RCRA Subtitle I)
An underground storage tank (UST) is a tank connected to piping that has at least ten percent of its combined volume underground. A leaking UST may contaminate groundwater, the source of drinking water for nearly half of all Americans. U.S. EPA and states collaborate with industry to protect public health and the environment from potential releases.
% of RCRA Facility Inspections in Which No Significant Non-Compliance is Found (RCRA Subtitle C)
RCRA Subtitle C provides “cradle-to-grave” regulation of hazardous waste by establishing management requirements for generators and transporters of hazardous waste and for owners and operators of hazardous waste treatment, storage, and disposal facilities. Under Subtitle C, U.S. EPA may authorize states to implement key provisions of the requirements, including permitting, enforcement, and corrective action or cleanup.
Leaking Underground Storage Tanks (LUST) Cleanups Completed that Meet Cleanup Standards
Since xxxx, Minnesota has completed xxxx LUSTs clean up projects.
When a leaking underground storage tank (LUST) releases a fuel product, contamination of the surrounding soil, groundwater, surface water, or indoor air can occur. Early detection of the leak, accurate determination of the source and type of fuel released, and appropriate cleanup response is critical for protecting public health and the environment.
Water Clean and Available for All Uses
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (U.S. EPA) and states have made significant progress in improving water quality since the enactments of the Clean Water Act (CWA) and Safe Drinking Water Act (SDWA) decades ago. However, environmental regulators are still challenged with maintaining infrastructure and limiting nutrient pollution. States report on water quality, measured by the concentration of pollutants and sedimentation from point (direct) and nonpoint (indirect) sources. Funding for water infrastructure and the number of facilities that comply with state and federal regulations are primary factors in improving the health of waterbodies. Learn more.
xx% of Minnesota's xx,xxx miles of rivers and streams have been assessed for Water Quality as of xxxx.*
Of that xx%, xx% are in good condition for aquatic life, fish consumption or recreation.*
Point Source Water Pollution
x out of 2 metrics have improved since xxxx
Point source pollution comes from a single fixed, identifiable location. Examples include discharges from wastewater treatment plants, operational wastes from industries, and combined sewer outfalls.
Percent of Major Wastewater Dischargers without Significant Noncompliance
Wastewater discharges from industrial and commercial sources may contain pollutants at levels that could adversely affect the quality of receiving waters or interfere with publicly owned treatment works that receive those discharges.
Investments in Water Infrastructure
$ invested cumulatively
invested since xxxx
projects since xxxx
$ invested cumulatively
invested since xxxx
projects since xxxx