Minnesota Tracking Program
The Minnesota (MN) Tracking Program collects and analyzes data about environmental hazards, people’s exposures to them, and the health of the population living in Minnesota. MN Tracking makes these data accessible to the public through their local tracking networkExternal. Their work helps inform, evaluate and guide policy decisions; support new funding for local actions; and track the progress of community and state programs working to improve public health.
- Minnesota is known as the Land of 10,000 Lakes. Geographically, it is the 12th largest state at 86,935 square miles; 8.5% of this is water.
- Drinking water quality is a high priority. Tracking environmental contaminants in public water systems and private wells are key concerns, especially for heavy metals like arsenic, agricultural chemicals, and chemical of emerging concern, like perfluorochemicals.
- The MN Tracking and Biomonitoring programs were established in 2007 by Minnesota Legislature statutes, and were among the first states to create these programs. Tracking and Biomonitoring programs work together to identify environmental health disparities and provide actionable risk information to communities and decision-makers.
- In 2009, Minnesota received funding from CDC to join the National Tracking Program.
In addition to the set of standard data collected and displayed by all state and local tracking programs, individual programs may host data that are important to their populations. Minnesota Tracking hosts data important to their populations including the following:
- The MN Biomonitoring: Chemicals in People Externalprogram tracks chemical exposures in those most vulnerable: pregnant women, children and disadvantaged communities. This work produces data to inform decisions and evaluate actions for protecting future generations and for advancing health equity. Past studies have identified disparities in mercury, lead and cadmiumExternal in Minnesota women and the babies and tracked perfluorochemical (PFC)External exposures over time across East Metro communities.
- MN Tracking created a Health Impact Assessment toolkitExternal to assist local public health departments determine the public health effects of proposed projects or legislation.
- County profilesExternal show the most recent available data at the county level.
- MN Tracking displays drinking water system contaminantsExternal for both community water systems and private wells. Users can search community water system data by county and city.
In 2013, Minnesota Tracking received a Governor’s Award for Continuous ImprovementExternal in recognition of their outstanding achievement in increasing efficiency, quality and value of state services. MN Tracking estimated that it saves $3.6 million in staff time each year by handling requests for data in a timely and cost-effective way.