Aggregate - sand and gravel

A red conveyor belt pours gravel on top of a large mound.

Air emissions

State

Use the Office spreadsheet icon Non-metallic minerals emissions calculator to calculate your potential air emissions. If you are over the thresholds listed in the calculator, you need an air permit. The type of permit depends on your company's activities and if a new source performance standard applies (see below).

You may qualify for the Nonmetallic mineral processes general permit: PDF icon Nonmetallic mineral processing general permit: Qualifications review checklist (aq-f4-nm00).

If you qualify for the general permit, you can't obtain an PDF icon Air emission registration permit (aq3-01). If the new source performance standard for nonmetallic mineral processing new source performance standard applies (see below), you can't get the general permit and must apply for an individual air permit. See the Types of air permits page for more information.

Federal

If any federal new source performance standards apply to your facility, you need an air permit.

The Nonmetallic Mineral Processing: New Source Performance Standards apply if:

  • Your fixed plant is larger than 25 tons/hour or your portable plant is larger than 150 tons/hour, and
  • Your plant or equipment was constructed, reconstructed, or modified after August 31, 1983

Calciners and Dryers in Mineral Industries: New Source Performance Standards apply if you use a dryer or calciner that was purchased, modified, or reconstructed after April 23, 1986.

Which air permit?

Do you have a dryer?

Do any of the other NSPS apply?

Are your potential emissions higher than the permitting thresholds in the calculator?

Permit information

No

No

No

You don't need an air permit

No

No

Yes

See if you qualify for the Non-Metallic General Air Permit

No

No

Yes, but you don’t qualify for Non-Metallic General Air Permit

See if you qualify for the Registration Option D air permit

No

Yes

No Apply for Registration Option A air permit

No

Yes

Yes

See if you qualify for the Non-Metallic General Air Permit

No

Yes

Yes, but you don’t qualify for Non-Metallic General Air Permit See if you qualify for the Registration Option D air permit

Yes

   

Apply for an individual air permit.

Find application forms on the Air permit forms page. Include the Microsoft Office document icon SCP-01: Submittal cover page (aq-f1-scp01).

The PDF icon Aggregate Facility Compliance Calendar is a free tool to help you stay in compliance.

Air permit due dates

Requirement Due date
Emission inventory fee for previous year Mailed to permit holders in March, due within 60 days
Emission inventory April 1
Corrections to emission inventory Mailed to permit holders in November, due within 45 days
PDF icon Deviations reporting form for non-metallic mineral processing general permit (aq-f4-nmdrf) January 30
July 30
PDF icon Annual compliance certification for the non-metallic mineral processing general permit (aq-f4-nmcr) January 31
Microsoft Office document icon Relocation Notification Form (aq-f7-re01) for portable facilities 48 hours before relocating

Hazardous waste

You need a hazardous waste license if you produce any amount of hazardous waste. Facilities in Anoka, Carver, Dakota, Hennepin, Ramsey, Scott, or Washington County are licensed and inspected by their county. Facilities in greater Minnesota are licensed and inspected by the MPCA. If you produce only small amounts of hazardous waste, you probably qualify to bring the wastes to PDF icon Very small quantity generators collection programs (w-hw2-51).

Annual hazardous waste training is required for businesses that generate 220 pounds or more of hazardous waste a month. Learn more on the General environmental requirements page.

Hazardous waste due dates

Requirement Due date
Hazardous waste generators fee Mailed to license holders in first quarter, due date on invoice
License application Due August 1 for Greater Minnesota businesses;
Twin Cities metro businesses: contact your county

Stormwater and wastewater

Aggregate facilities must have a permit for stormwater and wastewater activities. The Nonmetallic Mining & Associated Activities General Permit (MNG490000) covers both stormwater and wastewater for the aggregate industry, and is required for process wastewater.

If you have stormwater but no process wastewater, you may still apply for MNG49, which will cover multiple locations under one permit, or you can choose to apply for Industrial Stormwater Permits for each site.

If you discharge wastewater to surface waters, you must obtain an individual NPDES/SDS permit.

Water permit due dates

Requirement Due date
Industrial stormwater quarterly sampling January 21, April 21,
July 21, and October 21
Microsoft Office document icon Annual report form NPDES/SDS general industrial stormwater permit (wq-strm3-55) March 31
Discharge monitoring reports for MNG49 general permit for non-metallic mining January 22, April 22,
July 22, and October 22

Storage tanks

Most aboveground storage tanks larger than 500 gallons or underground tanks larger than 110 gallons have to be registered with the MPCA. See the storage tanks pages for more information.

Environmental review

Contact your local municipality for more information. In general, you may need to prepare an Environmental Assessment Worksheet (EAW) if your operation:

  • will disturb more than 40 acres of land, or
  • has the potential – or is perceived to have the potential – for significant environmental effects. The potential for environmental impact is greater if your operation will be near a wetland, lake, river, residences, or previously undisturbed area such as woods or prairie.

Silica sand

MPCA silica sand mining general information page. Frac sand operations must follow the same regulations as other aggregate operations, plus any local requirements.

Operations with a sand dryer are likely to be subject to federal New Source Performance Standards for calciners and dryers in mineral industries and not eligible for the MPCA non-metallic general air permit or registration air permits. Such operations have to apply for an individual air permit.

If your municipality requires a formal response from the MPCA on whether your operation needs an air permit, an “Applicability Determination” can be used for this purpose. Start with form Microsoft Office document icon CH-16, "Applicability Determination Request"; other required forms are available on the MPCA Air Quality forms web page.

Local regulation

Be sure to check with your county, city, and township to see if they have any additional requirements.

Beyond compliance

Air

The MPCA receives many complaints about dust. Minimize dust from blasting, drilling, crushing, conveying, screening, stockpiling, and hauling materials.

  • Control dust by using water trucks, windbreaks, on-site speed limits, putting stockpiles in sheltered areas, and planting vegetative ground cover.
  • Minimize fugitive dust by limiting the drop heights of materials being transferred to stockpiles, bins, or conveyors; watering dry materials; and leaving empty space at the top of unenclosed aggregate storage bins.

PDF icon Case study: Air quality impact study for UMore Park sand and gravel resources, University of Minnesota

This study finds potential air quality impacts such as type of air pollutants in the mining area and identifies options for minimizing those impacts.

Noise pollution can reflect negatively on your company. Consider ways to lessen noise impact on surrounding properties.

Stormwater

Erosion control. When protective vegetative cover is removed and underlying soil exposed, the risk of erosion greatly increases. Sediment can clog streams, destroy fish spawning beds, and reduce clarity and quality of the water in lakes and ponds. Minimize erosion by practicing the following:

  • Leave as much vegetation undisturbed as possible or build vegetative buffer strips.
  • Minimize the length of time bare soil is exposed.
  • Divert or prevent runoff from flowing across exposed areas.
  • Stabilize disturbed soils as soon as possible.
  • Slow the runoff flowing across the site.
  • Consider using silt fences or sediment traps, or building a sedimentation basin.

Wetlands. When choosing a site and planning your operations, identify nearby wetlands to minimize impact by not disturbing wetlands and not allowing untreated water and runoff to discharge directly into wetlands.

Tanks and chemical storage areas. Inspect for leaks and ensure proper maintenance of fuel tanks and chemical storage areas. Check the containment to ensure it is in good condition and sufficient freeboard is available.

Vehicle tracking. Minimize vehicle tracking of dust onto roadways by regularly inspecting exit roads. Immediately remove tracked dirt and mud from roadways.