The MPCA uses the Environmental Quality Information System (EQuIS) to store and manage monitoring data and associated laboratory results from streams, lakes, groundwater, ambient air, soil, sediment, and gas, collected through MPCA programs and partnerships.

EQuIS application and tools

EQuIS Pro, an application available for core users, is used to maintain the database and create custom reports. The agency has limited number of concurrent Pro licenses. Enterprise, an application primarily available to MPCA staff, provides an EQuIS connection useful for submitting and retrieving data. In the future, a data-submission portal will be incorporated into EQuIS Enterprise to automate more data submittal and response.

EQuIS offers a variety of software tools and standards to provide fast, dependable data collection and reporting.

EQuIS Data Gathering Engine

The MPCA uses EQuIS Data Gathering Engine (EDGE), a field data gathering tool that populates spreadsheets and generates electronic data deliverables for EQuIS field data storage. Contact an MPCA project manager to see if EDGE is being used in a specific program. The tool requires additional training, and individual programs may have custom standard operating procedures.


Lab_MN is an electronic data deliverable format that allows labs to submit results in an EQuIS-ready format. It incorporates EQuIS data standards and enables remote error checking prior to submitting data to the MPCA. The format was designed to capture more sample and result metadata and allows labs to submit quality assurance data. All labs supplying EQuIS-bound data must adopt this standard.

Chain of custody

Chain of custody (COC) procedures must be followed to maintain and document sample possession. The MPCA has developed a COC that can be populated within the EDGE application or on paper. The COC provides the labs with the information necessary to work in the Lab_MN format. The COC is available within EDGE_MN and by downloading the COC template.

Location unique identifiers

A location unique identifier (LUI) is an ID number connecting a sample location to specific GIS coordinates; no two LUIs occupy the same location. The LUI is called sys_loc_code in the EQuIS database. All sample locations need LUIs. LUIs are specific to a location, not a sample type, so you can collect multiple soil, soil gas, and groundwater samples from a borehole with one LUI.

Please do not generate new LUIs for locations that already have LUIs assigned. Contact the relevant data coordinator below to see if a location you plan to sample has an assigned LUI.

Location type How to obtain an LUI

Well — Temporary

Well — Soil vapor monitoring

Borehole (soil sampling, test trench, and sump)

Gas — Subslab

Building — Interior (indoor air)

Building — Exterior (outdoor air)

Surface soil sample

Self-service LUI generator*

*Use only if the location does not have an assigned LUI already

Permanent wells Use the MN unique well number assigned by MDH

Lake or stream sediment

Surface water

Assigned by the MPCA — contact the relevant data coordinator below.

Using the LUI generator

Enter your name, email address, location type, and the number of LUIs needed for each location type in the LUI generator. Create a new entry for each location type. You don't need to enter a site ID. You can generate extra LUIs if you need flexibility depending on field conditions. Unused LUIs don't need to be saved for future sample events.

EarthSoft’s Online Help


MPCA data coordinators