MPCA to place new air quality sensors in Mpls/St. Paul

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Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

MPCA to place new air quality sensors in Mpls/St. Paul

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Minnesota’s air quality, despite occasional alerts for elevated levels of particles or ozone, is generally good. However there are some areas of concern in urban areas, and there are inequities in exposure to air pollutants; for example, low-income populations and people of color tend to live in areas that have higher levels of air pollution. The MPCA is starting a project to help us understand more about how air quality differs across urban neighborhoods.

The Assessing Urban Air Quality project will place and operate a network of air quality monitoring sensors that represent a new way of measuring air quality.  The sensors are smaller and less expensive to operate than traditional air monitors. The project will run for two years and will monitor fine particles, ozone, nitrogen dioxide, sulfur dioxide, and carbon monoxide.  At least one monitor will be placed in each of the ZIP codes of Minneapolis and St. Paul (Minneapolis has 24 ZIP codes, St. Paul has 14).  Larger ZIP codes may have more than one monitor. 

The MPCA and the two cities are jointly sponsoring a series of open houses to talk about the project and seek the public’s input on where to place the sensors.  Open houses are scheduled for:

  • Aug. 31, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Merriam Park Public Library, 1831 Marshall Ave., St. Paul
  • Sept. 6, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Powderhorn Park Rec Center, 3500 15th Ave. S., Minneapolis
  • Sept. 7, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Audubon Park Rec Center, 1320 29 Ave. NE, Minneapolis
  • Sept. 11, 6:30-7:30 p.m., Farview Park Rec Center, 621 29th Ave. N., Minneapolis

The MPCA plans to begin placing the sensors in January 2018. For more information see