Ask the MPCA

Have a question for the MPCA?

There are answers to many of the common questions we get listed below. Or, you can send us a question using our Ask MPCA Online Form.

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Frequently asked questions

Here are some of the most frequently asked questions.

Students page: Tips for finding environmental information on this website for your homework or presentation.

Q:  Where can I go on the MPCA website 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 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 651-296-6300

Q:  Who do I talk to about being a registered septic hauler/pumper or to check the status of my registration/license?

A: Visit the SSTS Registration Web page, or call Jane Seaver at 651-757-2711 or by e-mail: jane.seaver@state.mn.us

Q:  I’m a homeowner with a septic tank question. Who can I talk to?

A:  There are fact sheets for homeowners on how to maintain their septic system through the University of Minnesota Extension Web site or by contacting your county, township or city.

Q: I need to apply for a construction stormwater permit. What do I need to do and when can I get the permit?

A:  Apply online using the Online Stormwater Permit Application. Permit coverage for most sites begins 7 days after a complete application is submitted. Visit the Construction Stormwater page for more information.

Q:  What is the fee for the Construction Stormwater Permit? 

A: $400.

Q:  How can I check the status of my Construction Stormwater Permit?

A: Use the Construction Stormwater Permit Search.

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  RethinkRecycling 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.

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?

A: Visit the MPCA's EPA ID Number searchable database, or call 651-757-2123, or send an e-mail to: beckie.olson@state.mn.us

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.

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