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The MPCA has developed guidance on a number of topics to assist real estate developers, environmental engineers, remediation consultants, and others in addressing brownfields and contaminated sites.

Site characterization and sampling

Soil reference values

Soil reference values (SRVs) are a screening tool used to evaluate potential human health risks from exposure to contaminated soil. They are derived using exposure assumptions based on specific land-use scenarios.

Soil leaching values

Soil leaching values are used to evaluate risks posed by leaching of contaminants in soil to groundwater.


Risk-based site evaluation manual

Submitting sampling data

Refer to our Environmental Quality Information System (EQuIS) web page for information on submitting data to the MPCA, using EQuIS and EDGE, obtaining location unique identifiers, and our data-gathering practices.

Remedy selection

Institutional controls

Institutional controls — also known as land use restrictions, activity use limitations, and land use controls — are imposed on properties to protect cleanup work and avoid exposure to any remaining contamination. Institutional controls limit how the land or its resources can be used, or provide information that helps guide behavior on the property, to protect human health or the environment.

Institutional controls are not intended to be a sole remedy, but are part of the overall remedy and protection work. The MPCA may require an institutional control as a condition of liability assurance for a property.

Common institutional controls

  • Environmental covenant and easement (previously called declarations of restrictions and covenants) — Restricts or requires specific activities, such as not disturbing soil in a certain location or below a certain depth, or requiring a vapor mitigation system in a property building.
  • Affidavit concerning real property contaminated with hazardous substances — Provides notice of residual or potential contamination on the property when no specific activity restriction is needed.
  • Bond declaration — Required when state general obligation bonds have been used to improve a property, and the sale or use of the property is then restricted based on state and federal law.

Institutional control documents are typically recorded at either the county recorder’s or registrar of titles office after cleanup is completed or the bonds have been spent. Templates and instructions for the covenant and affidavit:

12891: Institutional controls
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Sites with institutional controls

Identify MPCA sites with institutional controls. Use the interactive map or download a list. Contact with questions.

Dense non-aqueous phase liquids

Dense non-aqueous phase liquids (DNAPLs) are chemicals or mixtures of chemicals that have two major characteristics in common: they are heavier than water and immiscible. Examples include chlorinated solvents, coal tar, heavy petroleum (e.g., No. 6 fuel oil products), creosote, and polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). These documents provide information — based on Interstate Technology Regulatory Council guidance — on managing sites contaminated with DNAPL.

DNAPL resources

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Other resources