Best Practice Action Detail

Best Practice Action 23.3

GreenStep City Best Practices: Environmental Management
Local Air Quality No. 23

Prevent generation of local air contaminants so as to improve community health.

Best Practice Action 3

Conduct one or more policy or education/behavior change campaigns on the topics below and document:

a. Decreased vehicle idling, business trucking emissions, pollutants/noise from stationary engines/back-up generators.
b. Participation in the Air Aware Employers program.
c. Adoption of a smoking-free policy at one or more multi-unit housing buildings, private or public.
d. Replacement of gasoline-powered small equipment with lower polluting equipment.
e. Increased sales by retail stores of low and no-VOC household products.

  • Anti-idling resources from the MN Pollution Control Agency, including model policies and educational materials for schools and a comprehensive city policy from Minneapolis. See also a 2017 Guide to Selecting Generators and Stationary Engines: Smart Choices can Minimize Impacts for tips useful to food trucks and back-up generator users to reduce noise, pollutants and costs.
  • Project GreenFleet is a collaborative effort led by Minnesota's Environmental Initiative, to help business, government agencies and non-profit organizations work together to improve air quality and protect public health by reducing emissions, currently focused on diesel-fueled heavy construction vehicles.
  • Since 2004 the U.S. EPA's SmartWay transportation program has helped companies - shippers, carriers, logistic companies - save money and advance supply chain sustainability by measuring, benchmarking, and improving freight transportation efficiency. Cities can reach out to encourage local companies to use SmartWay tools, and can recognize and publicize the good works of SmartWay participants.
  • MPCA financing for auxiliary power units is done through its Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan program.
  • Cities can sign-up to become an Air Aware Employer and alert their staff - and community members and businesses in town - during air quality alerts with messages about actions to cut air pollutants. The MPCA measures and reports an air quality index number daily in 10 regions across the state: Brainerd, Detroit Lakes, Duluth, Ely, Grand Portage, Marshall, Rochester, St Cloud, the Twin Cities, and Virginia.
  • See benefits of four-stroke boat engines and resources from the American Green Zone Alliance, which promotes zero-emission landscape maintenance strategies.
  • Smoking-free policies are promoted by the MN Dept. of Health. See resources from the Association for Nonsmokers and Live Smoke Free.
1 star Participate in Clean Air Minnesota's Project GreenFleet program, the Air Aware Employers program; report the dimensions of and results from your vehicle-idling actions: for example, no idling in the downtown core. Report no-idling policies for city and school fleets in best practice 13, city parks' electric equipment under 18.5
2 star Adopt a non-smoking ordinance for parks; report on your campaign with retail stores OR gasoline-replacement efforts; work with food trucks to decrease noise/pollutants; installation by the city or businesses of auxiliary power units (APUs) and/or electrified parking spaces that reduce truck and bus idling. Report APUs for city fleets under action 13.6 
3 star Report on the reach of your smoking-free policy; decrease pollutants from back-up generators by shared generators, fuel cells, etc.; participation of 1 or more trucking or shipping or logistic companies based in your city in U.S. EPA's SmartWay Transport program.

Who's doing it

Bemidji - 3 star
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d.) In 2010, students at Bemidji State University approached administration to implement a 100% smoke free campus. A smoking ban was implemented for all of campus including the residential halls in April of 2011.
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Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Michelle Miller (City staff) | michelle.miller@ci.bemidji.mn.us | 218-759-3561
Partners:
Hutchinson - 3 star
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The ice resurfacers for the two City owned and operated indoor ice rinks are now completely electric-operated, thereby eliminating dangerous indoor air pollution from the resurfacers in the rink areas.

Additionally, the publicly owned Park Towers multi-family residential home is smoke-free, as are most of the multi-family housing units located around the City.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
John Paulson (City staff) | jpaulson@ci.hutchinson.mn.us | 320-234-5682
Partners: Hutchinson HRA
Leech Lake Band of Ojibwe - 3 star
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Leech lake Housing authority has a no smoking policy in certain community developments.
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For more information contact:
Brandy Toft (City staff) | air@lldrm.org | 218-335-7429
Partners:
Red Wing - 3 star
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The Red Wing Housing Authority established a no-smoking policy for public housing in full for the indoors and at restricted times and at only certain places on the property outside.
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For more information contact:
Paul Drotos (City staff) | paul.drotos@ci.red-wing.mn.us | 651-410-6744
Partners:
Golden Valley - 2 star
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Golden Valley adopted a Smoke Free Environment ordinance (Section 14-21 of City Code) in 2005. The ordinance prohibits smoking in: both indoor and outdoor dining areas of liquor and food establishments, within 25 feet of any outdoor dining area at any liquor or food establishment, public places, places of work, within 25 feet of entrances, exits, open windows, and ventilation intakes of public places and places of work, and in public parks and recreation facilities.
In 2008, Golden Valley adopted a no-idling policy for the police department and other City departments with vehicles. In the first summer with the new policy, the police realized a savings of $1,600 per month due to decreased fuel use. In addition to cost savings, and benefits to the environment, the policy helps to extend the life of the vehicle fleet.
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For more information contact:
Jason Zimmerman (City staff) | jzimmerman@goldenvalleymn.gov | (763)-593-8099
Partners:
New Hope - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
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Year action initially completed: 2012
Implementation details:
From 2011-2012, the city replaced 3 inefficient inspectors vehicles with energy-efficient Ford Fusion cars.
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For more information contact:
Jeff Alger (City staff) | jalger@ci.new-hope.mn.us | 763-531-5119
Partners:
Richfield - 2 star
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The City Code at 840.13 states, "No person may use tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, electronic delivery devices, or nicotine or lobelia delivery products, as these items are defined in section 1146 of this Code, on City-owned parks, conservation areas, open spaces, or recreational facilities, including without limitation: trails within parks used for walking and biking, picnic shelters, athletic fields, and play areas. This subsection does not apply to the use of tobacco, tobacco products, tobacco-related devices, electronic delivery devices, or nicotine or lobelia delivery products inside motor vehicles parked on the premises of City-owned parks, conservation areas, open spaces or recreational facilities."
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
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For more information contact:
Jennifer Anderson (City staff) | jenniferanderson@richfieldmn.gov | 612-861-9881
Partners:
Sartell - 2 star
Date action report first entered:
Date of last report update:
Year action initially completed: 2016
Implementation details:
The city implemented a comprehensive ban on Tobacco and E-Cigarette Use at all City-owned properties (greenways, parks, City Hall, etc.)
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Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Nate Keller (City staff) | nate.keller@sartellmn.com | 320-258-7316
Partners: BLEND - CentraCare
Eagan - 1 star
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The City has a No Idling policy for city fleet, with few exceptions due to inclement weather. The policy has resulted in a significant decrease in idling and has been a cultural and behavioral change across all departments.
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Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Andrew Pimental (City staff) | apimental@cityofeagan.com | 651-675-5506
Partners:
Edina - 1 star
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The Energy and Environment Commission has installed signs around school drop off and pick up areas and encouraged a ‘no idling’ education effort.

The City provides local air quality and electric vehicle education on its website in partnership with a MPCA local air quality grant.
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For more information contact:
Tara Brown (City staff) | tbrown@edinamn.gov | 952-826-1621
Partners:
Fergus Falls - 1 star
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The City of Fergus Falls turns the downtown street lights to a flashing mode during the overnight hours to reduce the amount of idling. City policies against idling of vehicles are in place for the Public Works Department and the Police Department. The City of Fergus Falls is working with Partnership4 Health regarding a tobacco free policy.
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For more information contact:
Len Taylor (City staff) | len.taylor@ci.fergus-falls.mn.us | 218-332-5418
Partners:
Maplewood - 1 star
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The city of Maplewood has an Idling Policy in place for city vehicles.
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For more information contact:
Scott Schultz (City staff) | scott.schultz@ci.maplewood.mn.us | (651) 249-2430
Partners:
Saint Cloud - 1 star
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The City has enacted a section of the Ordinance that prohibits that idling of vehicles longer than 5 minutes within a two-block long section of and main thoroughfare in the downtown area. The measure was enacted to implement the Citys transportation control plan for air quality improvements. Enforcement measures are directed toward the time period of greatest need for air quality improvement between 8am and 5pm.

The Public Works Department has implemented a No-Idling policy for city vehicles on coffee and restroom breaks and to keep travel distances to a minimum. The division continues to look for new ideas to conserve fuel and keep fuel costs to a minimum.
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For more information contact:
Liz Kramer (City staff) | elizabeth.kramer@ci.stcloud.mn.us | 320-255-7226
Partners:
Roseville - Pending
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The 2009 "Your City at Work" report indicated the city had saved 5% on fuel and energy as a result of several actions on the part of city staff, as well as changes to energy efficient lighting.
Outcome measures/metrics/money saved:
Descriptive File:
For more information contact:
Ryan Johnson (City staff) | Ryan.johnson@cityofroseville.com | 651-792-7049
Partners: