Environmental monitoring helps us keep track of the health of Minnesota's environment. We monitor the environment by recording observations, making measurements and analyzing samples and data collected at specific locations.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) monitors many aspects of Minnesota's environment. This page will help you find monitoring data, monitoring reports, and other information about the environmental conditions of Minnesota's air, ground water and surface water in Minnesota. Some biological monitoring information is also included.
If you seek monitoring information collected as part of an MPCA regulatory program, please review the complete list of MPCA programs or visit the MPCA home page, as that information may be available only on the MPCA program Web page.
We encourage you to contact MPCA staff directly if you cannot find the information you seek using the links on this page. For assistance, call the MPCA at 651-296-6300 or 1-800-657-3864.
Links to Web pages that feature data sets from environmental measurements.
- Air: Acid Deposition (Acid Rain) and Mercury Deposition Database.
Select a monitoring site from a state map for chemical concentrations, deposition rates, and precipitation amounts for state and national sites. This National Atmospheric Deposition Program (NADP) Web site includes:
- the (Acid Rain) National Trends Network (NTN) database including pH, calcium, magnesium, potassium, sodium, ammonia and nitrate nitrogen, chloride and sulfate for 10 Minnesota monitoring sites; and
- "mercury in rain" database for four Minnesota monitoring sites.
- Air monitoring and emissions data
This link connects you to the air quality portion of the MPCA's Environmental Data Access system, an interactive, geographic-based system that allows you to:
- search for data and information about specific pollutants;
- use an interactive map to search for data collected at active and inactive ambient air monitoring sites in Minnesota; and
- view pollutant emissions by source type, including the types and volumes of pollutants emitted by permitted facilities.
- Air Quality Index for Minnesota
Daily air quality conditions for the Minneapolis/St. Paul area.
- Groundwater data
Access to MPCA's most recent analytical data from well testing, and links to related resources.
- Lakes and water quality
Learn about MPCA water quality monitoring assessment.
- Surface water data
This link connects you to the water quality portion of the MPCA's Environmental Data Access system, an interactive, geographic-based system that allows you to:
- quickly access statewide water quality data on a site-by-site basis;
- immediately display site-specific data by specifying the name of a lake, river, or other related location; and
- view geographically the degree of impairment and how impairment affects the use of impaired lakes and streams.
- Surface Water Quality - National Database (STORET)
Requests for customized sets (retrievals) of environmental monitoring data.
- Air Monitoring: contact Kellie Gavin, 651-757-2379
- Biological Monitoring: contact Bob Murzyn, 651-757-2596
- Groundwater Monitoring: contact Sherri Kroening, 651-757-2507.
- Surface-Water Monitoring: contact Nancy Flandrick, 651-757-2361; or Lynda Nelson, 651-757-2601; or Jean Garvin, 651-757-2378
Relatively concise presentations of environmental monitoring results.
- Air Publications
Fact sheets, newsletters and other publications.
- Deformed Frogs in Minnesota
Includes basic information, fact sheets and updates.
- Groundwater Summaries and Fact Sheets
Information on ambient ground water monitoring and assessment.
- Lake Conditions in Minnesota's Major River Basins
Minnesota lake "use support" assessments compiled to satisfy the requirements of the Clean Water Act, Section 305(b).
- Stream Conditions in Minnesota's Major River Basins
Minnesota streams "use support" assessments compiled to satisfy the requirements of the Clean Water Act, Section 305(b).
More detailed presentations of environmental monitoring results.
- Air Publications: Reports
- Groundwater Publications
Program-specific reports, newsletters and other publications.
- Citizen Lake Monitoring Program Reports
- Lake Water Quality Assessment Reports
Find information on lake and watershed conditions and trends observed at specific Minnesota lakes.
- Citizen Stream-Monitoring Program Annual Report
- Red River of the North Basin Information
Information about the factors that affect water quality in the Red River Basin.
- Minnesota River Basin Information
Information about the factors that affect water quality in the Minnesota River Basin.
- Contaminated Sediments
Study descriptions, results and remediation plans for waters with contamination in bottom sediments.
Find specific information about environmental monitoring programs of interest to you.
- Air: Includes overview information about Minnesota's air quality and air-related data and program information.
- Biological Monitoring: for information about biological monitoring, contact Dan Helwig, firstname.lastname@example.org
- Deformed Frogs in Minnesota
- Groundwater: Includes an introduction to ground-water principles, links to ground-water information and links to ground-water programs.
- Ambient Groundwater Monitoring and Assessment
- Citizen Lake Monitoring Program
- Lakes: An overview of programs, information and activities related to lake monitoring; includes links to related information.
- Citizen Stream-Monitoring Program
- Streams and Rivers: Links to programs, information and activities related to stream and river monitoring.
- Minnesota Milestone River Monitoring Program
- Contaminated Sediments: Includes study descriptions, results and remediation plans for waters with contamination in bottom sediments.
This section lists links to guidance documents and recommended procedures for MPCA environmental monitoring efforts. Please contact the appropriate MPCA program for other guidance documents that are not listed below.
Overview of Quality Assurance Program, quality policy and procedures, plus links to other Web pages associated with laboratory certification and quality assurance.
Definitions of environmental monitoring terms used on this page:
- Database: A collection of data arranged for ease and speed of retrieval. Much, but not all of the MPCA's monitoring data are stored in computer databases. It is possible to retrieve the entire contents of a computer database or to just retrieve a subset of the database according to what is needed. The data that are retrieved can be reported in various formats or arrangements. However, additional work is required to produce unique subsets of data or to report the data in a non-standard format.
- EPA: United States Environmental Protection Agency
- Monitoring: collecting information by means of activities such as recording observations, making measurements and laboratory analysis of samples collected at a specific location or site of interest. Monitoring commonly involves visiting the site of interest to collect information according to a specific schedule and over a pre-specified length of time. Often, sophisticated instruments are used to make "field" measurements at the site of interest and samples of air, water, plants or animals are collected and later analyzed at a laboratory.
- Quality Assurance and Quality Control: A system of procedures, checks, audits, and corrective actions to ensure that environmental monitoring and sampling and related technical and reporting activities are of the highest achievable or most appropriate quality.
- STORET: A national database maintained by the EPA for the storage and retrieval of data relating to the quality of the waterways of the United States.