The MPCA has developed guidance on a number of topics, to assist real estate development professionals, 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.

Groundwater

Risk-based site evaluation manual

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:

See the list of MPCA Remediation Division sites with institutional controls on the Minnesota Geospatial Commons web site. Contact instcontrols.pca@state.mn.us 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.

Resources

Per- and polyfluoroalkyl substances (PFAS)

Offsite reuse of fill materials

For sites enrolled in the MPCA's voluntary investigation and cleanup or petroleum brownfield programs and moving regulated fill from one site to another:

Other resources