Relationship with EPA

The Environmental Performance Partnership Agreement (EnPPA) is a multi-year agreement between the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Region 5. The agreement specifies how the two agencies will jointly protect Minnesota's environment.

The EnPPA used to include the Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) workplan template detailing tasks or work commitments from the state. However, there are new changes with the new grant cycle since the MPCA had joined effort with EPA’s Maximizing Performance Partnership Initiative. MPCA separated the Performance Partnership Agreement (PPA) from the PPG to allow focus on shared priorities and other high-level regional discussion items separate from the detailed workplan measures and activities under the PPG.

EnPPA documents

PDF icon Overview of the Environmental Performance Partnership Agreement (p-part1-01)

Agreements (PPA)

PPG workplans and reports

Self assessment

Purpose and scope

This agreement is a product of the National Environmental Performance Partnership System (NEPPS), an initiative of EPA and the Environmental Council of States (ECOS). The objective of this initiative is to strengthen the protection of public health and the environment by directing scarce resources toward the most pressing environmental needs. It was also designed to provide states with flexibility in how they achieve environmental results and enhance their accountability in achieving environmental progress.

The purpose of this agreement is to solidify our understanding of the roles and responsibilities of MPCA and U.S. EPA Region 5 in protecting Minnesota's environment.

Background, present, and future

Historically, the two agencies have focused on the measurement and reporting of program outputs, such as the number of permits issued or number of enforcement actions taken. Conceptually, we've assumed that these program outputs could be linked with positive effects on Minnesota's environment. The foundation of this assumption was that compliance with environmental rules and regulations would result in environmental protection or improvement. This document inherently questions that assumption by placing a greater emphasis on the environmental outcomes of our work. By linking program activities to measurable environmental objectives, this agreement makes explicit what was merely implied in previous performance documents. While the agency is not yet able to complete these links with all of its activities, this agreement represents a start in this fundamental change in program planning.

The other component of the EnPPA — the PPG workplan — links goals, subgoals, objectives and activities together. This may help the MPCA and EPA evaluate the environmental effectiveness of their program activities. This information is also critical to assist the agencies in setting priorities, strategic planning, establishing workplans and communicating with stakeholders and the public.

The EnPPA (now PPA) attempts to describe the comprehensive collection of Minnesota programs and responsibilities by which the two agencies will meet mutual goals. By providing a more complete picture of the environmental activities occurring in Minnesota (included in the PPG workplan), the agencies hope to increase public understanding of our environmental goals and the progress made in achieving these goals.

Joint priorities are evaluated annually and may be revised. The most current PPA focuses on three joint priorities:

  • Air quality permits
  • Mining permits
  • Watershed Approach and CWA Section 319 grants

While the MPCA and EPA have attempted to provide a description of each agency's environmental protection activities for the period of this agreement, it should also be noted that there may be additional activities warranting action that are not contemplated at this time. The MPCA and EPA agree that coordination will occur as appropriate over the course of the agreement period to avoid overlap and duplication of effort in addressing new issues and concerns as they arise.

Furthermore, we recognize that this agreement does not encompass every agreement between the MPCA and EPA, and that some agreements and relationships will be described elsewhere. This agreement does not replace or supersede statutes, regulations, delegation agreements or other agreements entered into previously with the state.

The workplan for the Performance Partnership Grant (PPG) is now a separate document and not tied to the EnPPA Agreement.

Agreement term

The term for this agreement is four years. Not only does this schedule provide time for the valuable, yet time-consuming, process of goal setting and performance evaluation, it will also allow this effort to be used in the state biennial budget plans and performance reports.


Our mutual progress in completing this agreement will be reported in a self assessment submitted each fiscal year.