Ask the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
Frequently asked questions:
Who to call
Frequently asked questions
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency receives many questions about Minnesota's environment, ranging from citizen inquiries about recycling to industry questions about permits. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions.
Attention Students: You can find tips on how to find environmental information on this Web site for your homework, paper or presentation at our special Students page. Please check this page first before contacting the MPCA.
Q: I need to talk to a MPCA staff member. How do I find his/her phone number or e-mail address?
A: Search the MPCA online staff directory or view the Staff Phone Directory (updated monthly) for staff phone numbers and e-mail addresses. If you want to know a staff member’s availability, you’ll have to call them directly. If their voicemail message is generic, you may press zero to ask support staff their availability. If you're not sure who to talk to, see the MPCA's Staff Directory by Topic.
Q: Where can I go on the MPCA Web site to get environmental data?
A: Our list of online databases is growing. Visit the MPCA environmental data page.
Q: How do I notify the MPCA of a facility name or ownership change, or to terminate my permit/license?
A: There is a Web page that lists forms that can be used for these and other administrative actions at: Administrative Change Request Forms.
Q: I have an environmental complaint I’d like to register. How do I do that?
A: Send us your complaint through our online citizen complaint form.
Q: What is today’s air quality?
A: See the most current air quality readings for Minnesota on the Air Quality Index page The index is updated hourly.
Q: How do I find out about the water quality of the lake by my house or cabin?
A: See the MPCA's Lake Monitoring Program FAQ page for information about your lake and what you can do to protect and monitor your lake's water quality.
Q: I have a question about the status of my Sanitary Sewer Permit. Who could I talk to?
A: Call 651-757-2086 or send an e-mail to: email@example.com
Q: Who do I talk to about being a registered septic hauler/pumper or to check the status of my registration/license?
Q: I’m a homeowner with a septic tank question. Who can I talk to?
Q: I need to apply for a construction stormwater permit. What do I need to do and when can I get the permit?
A: You can apply either online or through the mail. Visit the Construction Stormwater page for links to forms and the online application. If you submit your application online, you're allowed to start constructing 48 hours after submitting. If you mail in your application, you may start construction 7 days after the postmark date for most projects (please see the application for exceptions).
Q: What is the fee for the Construction Stormwater Permit?
Q: How can I check the status of my Construction Stormwater Permit?
A: Call 651-757-2088.
Q: What is the status of the draft Industrial Stormwater Permit? When will it be issued?
A: As of April 5, 2010, the Agency’s Industrial Stormwater Multi-Sector General Permit was re-issued. To learn more about the permit and to receive email updates from the program, visit the Industrial Stormwater page.
Q: I have household hazardous waste, such as paint, pesticides, used oil or electronics. How do I dispose of it?
A: Most counties have household hazardous waste (HHW) collection programs. The wastes accepted and hours of operation vary by county, so the best way to find out what you can do with your HHW is to contact your county’s household hazardous waste program. Residents from Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey and Washington counties can also visit the Green Guardian Web site for information about disposal options. Earth's 911 is another resource that provides disposal information for many Minnesota counties, visit: www.earth911.org, then type in the waste you want to get rid of and your zip code to find a list of the closest disposal locations.
Q: How can I safely dispose of a fluorescent bulb?
A: A fluorescent bulb is considered household hazardous waste. Listed below is information about how to handle and clean up your waste bulbs and where to find your local household hazardous waste disposal locations.
- Fluorescent Light Bulbs: Use Them, Recycle Them.
- Disposal locations:
Q: What’s the latest regarding the electronics recycling law?
A: Information can be found on the Electronics Recycling Law page.
Q: I'd like to know if my Hazardous Waste/EPA ID number is active. How do I find the status of my EPA ID number?
Q: I’m having problems with mold, radon, or asbestos tiles or lead in my house or apartment. Who do I call?
A: Please contact Minnesota Department of Health’s Indoor Air Quality Program
Q: I have a problem with my neighbor burning debris. Who do I talk to?
A: For non-trash related outdoor burning, contact the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources for trash-related burning questions, contact your fire marshal or sheriff’s office.
Q: What if I don’t know which state agency would address my environmental question or concern?
A:Visit Minnesota's Gateway to Environmental Information and type in the search box the phrase or program that you’re looking for.
Q: I am a business or local government with an environmental/regulatory question. Who can I talk to?
A: You can call: 651-282-6143 or 800-657-3938.
Q: I still have a question that’s not answered on this page.
A: Feel free to fill out your question by clicking on this link and it will be routed to the appropriate staff. Please expect up to a two-week wait to receive a reply from the MPCA.
- Living Green: Citizens
- What's in My Neighborhood - an online tool to search for places that may be contaminated.