Report spills of any substance under your control immediately
Call the Minnesota Duty Officer at 800-422-0798 or 651-649-5451 (available 24 hours)
The Minnesota Duty Officer will alert the MPCA and other relevant state agencies.
If there is an immediate threat to life or property, call 911 first!
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Emergency Response Program (ERP) oversees the cleanup of all types of spills and environmental emergencies, such as train derailments, pipeline breaks, and tanker truck accidents that threaten the environment and public health. MPCA responders collaborate with local, county, state, and federal governments to contain and recover spills. Emergency response staff field more than 3,000 incident reports each year and are on call 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
The ERP is also responsible for planning and preparing for spills and environmental emergencies. The program participates in training and exercises with our partners, provides oil spill response training to fire and public works departments, reviews companies' spill prevention and response plans, and plays a role in enforcement.
Have you seen something that may negatively impact the environment or be in violation of environmental regulations? Use our online complaint form to report it to the MPCA.
Seeing an oil-like sheen on water?
Many people contact the MPCA about a rainbow or iridescent sheen on a lake or other body of water that looks like oil, gasoline, or another petroleum product. If there isn’t an obvious source of petroleum and no petroleum odor, the sheen is likely the result of bacteria. If you try to break up the sheen with a stick or rock and it breaks into small pieces, it is a bacterial sheen. If it quickly reforms, then it is likely a petroleum-based sheen. If your lake has stormwater outfalls, or drains a parking lot or road, it is typical to see a sheen after a rainfall. It will evaporate or be broken down by microbes. If it is a larger sheen resulting from a spill, please report the spill to the Minnesota Duty Officer (800-422-0798, 651-649-5451)
Other state and federal response agencies
- Chemical assessment teams, State Fire Marshal (Minnesota Department of Public Safety)
- Pesticide and fertilizer spill response (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
- Food and Ag emergency response (Minnesota Department of Agriculture)
- Emergency Response (U.S. EPA)
- National Response Center (U.S. Coast Guard)