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Archive for October, 2013

Weekly Wrap-Up – 10/18/13

October 18th, 2013

Environmental Initiative’s efforts to reduce air emissions are ongoing. As a result, we’re always keeping an eye on what’s happening here and around the world related to air quality. Here’s the latest:

  1. World Health Organization: Air pollution causes cancer (CNN).
  2. The Supreme Court agrees to hear landmark case challenging the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s authority to curb greenhouse gas emissions from power plants, factories, and other stationary sources (Sustainable Industries).
  3. Beijing bans cars on poor air quality days. But, is it enough? (The Cristian Science Monitor)
  4. What’s that smell? The bees aren’t sure, thanks to diesel exhaust (Voice of America).
  5. Yikes! According to a recent MIT study, more Americans die from car pollution each year than die from car accidents (Quartz).



Emily Franklin


Director of Communications

Minnesota Department of Transportation Retrofits Over 200 Vehicles

October 15th, 2013

The calendar has now flipped to October, leaves are changing, and temperatures are falling across the state. What does that mean? Our old friend winter is coming and snow will soon be here! Are you ready for it?

We have all seen the Minnesota Department of Transportation’s (MnDOT) snowplows and dump trucks working across the state to clear roads during and after a winter snowfall. Did you know you can breathe a little easier knowing that all of MnDOT’s eligible vehicles have been retrofitted with a piece of equipment that reduces particulate matter emissions from the tailpipe by approximately 20-25%?

MnDOT TruckOver the past few years, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and Environmental Initiative have partnered with MnDOT to retrofit 149 vehicles in the Twin Cities and 100 vehicles throughout Greater Minnesota. This is an amazing accomplishment and one that has a visible effect on pollution levels from these trucks.

“The MPCA is proud to have retrofitted 149 MnDOT trucks in the metropolitan area with emission control devices that reduce fine particulate pollution by 20%. It is even more rewarding to partner with Environmental Initiative’s Project Green Fleet, which has expanded this effort by retrofitting all of the MnDOT trucks outside of the metropolitan area. Together we’ve made a successful and comprehensive effort to retrofit MnDOT’s entire eligible fleet,” says Mark Sulzbach, Clean Diesel Specialist, at MPCA.

One of the aims of Project Green Fleet is to make it easy to partner with fleets like MnDOT to reduce emissions. Bob Ellingsworth, Fleet Manager at MnDOT notes, “Working with Project Green Fleet was seamless. They made it easy and convenient to get these vehicles retrofitted. We are very happy that we were able to lower our emissions around the entire state and keep Minnesota’s air clean.”

Environmental Initiative has reduced particulate matter emissions by 27 tons annually through Project Green Fleet. This is the equivalent of removing 425,000 cars from the road each year.

Eric David


Program Manager, Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

Weekly Wrap-Up – 10/11/13

October 11th, 2013

This week’s wrap-up is all about water – from scarcity, to treatment, to invasive species. What water issues should we be thinking about as we plan our events and projects? What water news caught your attention this week? Share with us here or connect with us on social media.

  1. Water from PolyMet mine site would require 500 years of treatment. (Duluth News Tribune)
  2. Microplastic waste is a problem for lakes as well as oceans. (Nature World News)
  3. Asian carp: Can we solve this invasive species problem? (MinnPost)
  4. United Nations chief warns of water scarcity worldwide. (Inter Press Service News Agency)
  5. Is White Bear Lake a symptom of larger water supply problems in the Twin Cities Metropolitan Area? (MinnPost)
Emily Franklin


Director of Communications
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