Skip to main content

Time to give up backyard fire pit? New air pollution reports mix good news, warnings

  • Author:
  • Updated:
    Original:

A new report from the American Lung Association shows some improvements in air quality in Minnesota's urban areas, but Ramsey County had poor grades for fine particle pollution for the third year in a row, MPR reports.

The annual "State of the Air" report released Wednesday focuses on two forms of air pollution: ozone and fine particle pollution.

Overall, the Twin Cities' air ranked 42nd most polluted on a list of 235 cities, the Pioneer Press reported. That's an improvement – the metro ranked 36th last year.

The grades for Washington and Anoka counties slipped from an A to a B, the newspaper reported. The only other metro county graded for ozone was Scott, which earned an A.

The Pioneer Press reports that the Blaine area is consistently the area's worst for ozone, said Robert Moffitt, a spokesman for the American Lung Association in Minnesota, perhaps because of southerly winds that blow in dirty air from the core cities.

Duluth made the list of cleanest cities for both ozone and year-round particle pollution. Rochester was among the cleanest cities for ozone pollution.

Meanwhile, another report prepared for release this week suggests that air pollution from Minnesota's large single sources such as power plants and factories has fallen significantly, in part due to new regulations and technologies, the Star Tribune reports.

But other Minnesota polluters remain a problem, including: homeowners, commuters, landscapers, small-business owners, school buses and backyard fires, the Star Tribune says. The newspaper reports that unless Twin Cities residents get serious about giving up old lawn mowers, wood-burning stoves and diesel engines, the state of Minnesota could face costs of up to $240 million a year to meet tough new federal clean air requirements.

Nationwide, the Lung Association report says air pollution remains a pervasive public health threat, and that many cities that ranked among the most polluted had more unhealthy days of high ozone (smog) and short-term particle pollution than in the 2012 report.

But the report has some good news about a long-term trend toward healthier air: "Significant progress has been made to reduce year-round particle pollution (soot) across the nation."

Next Up

Minneapolis Fire Department

One injured after leaping from burning vacant building in Minneapolis

Authorities say the building is known to be used by squatters.

ambulance

Head-on crash leaves two drivers dead in southeastern Minnesota

The crash happened in Houston County just before 4 p.m. Friday.

ConellHarris

Charges: Armed man made death threats at Minneapolis LGBTQ bar

The man allegedly used derogatory terms while threatening to kill someone.

image

FDA pulls last COVID-19 monoclonal antibody treatment as new variants rise

A therapy used to treat more than 11,000 Minnesotans is no longer authorized amid a surge in the latest COVID-19 variants.

Austin Robert LeClaire

Charges: Plymouth man shot girlfriend in head after birthday party

The 23-year-old victim is in critical condition as of Friday.

image

State announces $2.5M in grants for child care providers

Child care providers in roughly a dozen communities will receive funds to help grow the supply of affordable, quality child care.

image

Probe of Golden Valley police uncovers racism, alleged misconduct

One officer was terminated for alleged racist comments and violations of state law.

blowing snow

Blowing snow Friday in Minnesota; will it snow next week?

Winds could gust up to 50 mph Friday afternoon and night.

Deer hunting blaze orange

To combat CWD, late-season deer hunting announced for 9 areas of MN

The special hunts will be held between Dec. 16 and 18.

covid

COVID levels rising in wastewater; BQ.1 now dominant

BQ.1 is the new dominant subvariant in Twin Cities wastewater.

Screen Shot 2022-12-02 at 11.43.05 AM

Keith Ellison, other AGs settle with CarMax over recall disclosures

As part of the settlement, CarMax now must disclosure open recalls online and on the lot.

police lights squad car

Man kidnaps 2-year-old daughter in St. Paul, crashes after pursuit in Minneapolis

The incident involved both police departments in Minneapolis and St. Paul.

Related