Past spills, leaks, or careless disposal of drycleaning chemicals have resulted in soil, groundwater and soil vapor contamination at sites around the state. The Minnesota Legislature, working with drycleaners' trade associations and the MPCA, established the Drycleaner Environmental Response and Reimbursement Account (Drycleaner Fund) in 1995. The law provides a means to reimburse owners and operators for the cost of cleanup of soil, groundwater or soil vapor contamination resulting from drycleaning facilities. Under the Drycleaner Fund, most drycleaning facilities that provided services to the general public may apply for reimbursement for their investigation and cleanup work. Annual registration fees paid by drycleaning facilities, as well as solvent fees collected by retailers of particular drycleaning chemicals, will be used to finance the fund.
- Dry cleaner environmental response and reimbursement law (115B.47 - 115B.51)
- State Coalition for the Remediation of Drycleaners
A brownfield is any property that is abandoned or under-used due to the known or likely presence of contamination. Investigating and cleaning up brownfield sites benefits Minnesota communities by reducing urban sprawl, enhancing neighborhoods livability, creating jobs, and increasing tax revenues.
- Minnesota Brownfields lists sources of financial, tax, and technical assistance on its web site.
Brownfield assessment grants
The MPCA has grant money available from the U.S. EPA to fund environmental assessments of brownfield properties, to support redevelopment and reuse. The work is performed by MPCA contractors at no cost to the grant recipients, and applications are accepted on a rolling basis.
The grant can be used for:
- Phase I and Phase II environmental site assessments.
- sampling and analysis plans/work plans.
- hazardous materials building surveys to identify lead paint and asbestos.
- preparation of response action plans.
- community engagement for reuse planning.
- MPCA Brownfield Program fees.
MPCA staff perform technical reviews and approvals of work plans, investigation reports, and cleanup plans to ensure landowners, lenders, and developers understand the property's environmental condition and the costs of site redevelopment. The MPCA also provides liability assurance and environmental closure letters, as appropriate, for contamination identified at the property. Learn more:
U.S. EPA brownfields funds
To apply for U.S. EPA Brownfields Assessment, Revolving Loan Fund, and Cleanup Grant funds, you must provide a letter of support from the MPCA.
To obtain a letter of support, email a brief description of the project and the specific site and property ownership eligibility requirements to email@example.com at least two weeks prior to your deadline. Review the Letter from the State requirements carefully before submitting your request to avoid delays. The MPCA will issue one letter for sites with hazardous substances commingled with petroleum.
The Petroleum Tank Release Cleanup Fund (Petrofund), administered by the Minnesota Department of Commerce, reimburses eligible applicants up to 90% of reasonable and necessary costs they incur in responding to a petroleum spill or leak. The Petrofund has published guidelines on which costs qualify as reasonable, and the MPCA determines what work is necessary to protect human health and the environment. Eligible applicants include responsible parties (RPs) as well as non-RPs that hold legal or equitable title to the property where the release occurred. Besides determining what work is necessary, the MPCA plays a role in the reimbursement process by reviewing an applicant’s compliance with statutory requirements. Learn more:
The MPCA provides loans at zero-percent interest to small businesses for costs associated with the investigation and cleanup of contaminated sites. To quality, a borrower must be an existing small business corporation, sole proprietorship, partnership, or association with less than 100 full-time employees, an after-tax profit of less than $500,000 and a demonstrated ability to repay the loan.