The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency

As noted above, several state agencies have responsibilities for environmental protection. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is the agency specifically charged with efforts to eliminate, reduce or control the levels of pollution in the environment. It is the principal agency for permitting associated with air quality and water quality, for the management of hazardous and solid waste, and for the enforcement of pollution control statutes and regulations.

Permit requirements, application procedures, schedules and other procedural requirements vary with the facility or activity involved. Most permits require a 30-day public notice. If members of the public object to issuance of the permit, and/or ask for a public hearing before a state administrative law judge, there may be further evaluation of the application and delay in issuance of the permit. The MPCA always has the option of denying a permit if the proposed facility or activity may result in some significant potential for pollution that cannot be corrected.

Non-compliance with MPCA rules or permit requirements could result in MPCA enforcement action involving administrative penalties, stipulated damages, civil or criminal legal action, and revocation of the MPCA permit. As a practical matter, MPCA permit holders should ensure that they have adequate and appropriate operating practices and qualified personnel in place to meet permit requirements and avoid enforcement action.

CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Environmental Protection Programs and how they affect starting a business in Minnesota.