Air Quality Program

The need to develop air program capacity and assess the air quality of KBIC is critical. KBIC is exposed to a number of local and regional air pollution sources including:

  • Several paint and industrial manufacturing shops located on the L'Anse Reservation.
  • A biomass electrical generation plant that operates within ½ mile of the L'Anse Reservation boundaries
  • Mineral exploration that is occurring on the L'Anse Reservation.

Other local sources of pollution include:

  • Homes and businesses that emit exhausts into the air from heating with wood and other fuels, cleaning, fiberglass manufacture, paint shops, and other business operations.
  • Residential and commercial open burning occurs in burn barrels, backyards, and business lots.
  • Major trucking corridors and transportation routes, including US Highway 41 and State Highways M-28 and M-38, travel through and are adjacent to tribal lands. Road transportation includes cars, buses, large semi- and logging trucks and increases during the summer tourist season.
  • Railroad lines also traverse the area. Regionally, the highly industrialized areas of Duluth, MN, and Thunder Bay, Ontario are to the west-northwest, which is the direction of prevailing winds.

Currently, no data on ambient air quality exists for the area. According to the 2011 Michigan Monitoring Network, the nearest monitor is located in Seney, MI, over 100 miles to the east of the L'Anse Reservation. Indoor air quality is also of concern to KBIC.

Maintaining air quality is a priority to KBIC as is documented in the KBIC Strategic Plan as well as the KBIC Integrated Resources Management Plan (IRMP). Air quality management and Clean Air Act (CAA) program eligibility is also a priority set forth in the 2010 - 2012 Environmental Program Development and Implementation Agreement between KBIC and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region 5.

Obtaining air quality assessment data and information is vital in developing a strategy to protect air quality. KBIC received Air Quality Program funding in April 2012 and plans to begin development of this program in late summer/early fall. The proposed program objectives below will allow KBIC to assess the basic air quality for program and policy planning, as well as develop the capacity to conduct the proposed activities, and prepare for obtaining additional baseline data including an emissions inventory.


Keweenaw Bay Indian Community 2020 Emissions Inventory 


Ambient Air  |   Indoor Air

KBIC Air Quality Program Objectives:

  • Objective 1: Air Quality Administration and Capacity Development
  • Objective 2: Basic Air Quality Assessment and Education
  • Objective 3: Emissions Inventory Preparation

With the passing of the Tribal New Source Review Rule in 2011, sources emitting air pollution located in Indian Country will now have to register with the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The EPA will be sending out notification letters to existing true minor sources in late 2012. New or modified sources will now have to get permits issued by the EPA.

Tribal Air Resources Journal: Accomplishments, Obstacles, Successes and Setbacks of EPA Region 5 Tribes Pertaining to Air Quality (2020)