Environmental management systems

Today's leading companies and organizations use Environmental Management Systems (EMS) to move beyond basic compliance towards stewardship.

Through EMS, an organization sets internal standards, prevents noncompliance, and improves environmental performance.

Companies using EMS tackle a broad range of issues beyond basic compliance such as energy and water use, transportation, packaging, and even the performance of suppliers.

MPCA encourages the use of high-quality EMSs as tools for environmental improvement and as a means for reducing the cost—to the EMS user and to the state—of maintaining compliance with environmental regulations.

Incentives for use

Where the following incentives for EMS use apply to your organization, we would like you to consider positioning your facility to take advantage of them. From MPCA’s standpoint, the single most important part of that positioning is to bolster that part of your EMS which assesses how environmental regulations apply to your facility, manages responsibilities under those regulations, and prevents noncompliance.

Flexible EMS Air Permit

This individually issued state permit option allows small and medium-sized air emission facilities that employ a qualifying EMS (audited as conforming to ISO 14001, but registration is not required) to operate under caps of actual emissions set below 100 tons per year for most pollutants.

To provide a regulatory incentive to establish a qualifying EMS, the permit offers relief from minor and moderate permit amendment application requirements, and from some recordkeeping and reporting requirements. This permit option may make sense for your facility if:

  • your actual emissions have been declining under an existing Part 70 permit; or
  • your facility requires the flexibility to make quick production changes to get products to market in timely fashion; or
  • your facility has low actual emissions but requires site-specific permit conditions to operate at the low emission levels, disqualifying you for the registration or capped permit options.

Please call Al Innes (651-757-2457) for more information.

  • PDF icon Facts About State Air Permits with Environmental Management System (EMS) Provisions
  • Rule - the EMS permit option was one of two options published in the State Register under a single proposed rule change. Therefore, the rule and supporting documents mix language for both the EMS permit option and the second option (the “capped permit” option). The pages most pertinent to the EMS permit option are indicated.
    • Original Rule (pp. 7-13 of the document, or pp. 37-43 as numbered in the July 12, 2004 State Register)
    • For the most current language, see Minnesota Rules, Chapter 7007.
      • 7007.0100 Definitions
      • 7007.1102 Incorporations by reference
      • 7007.1105 Eligibility for EMS provisions in state permits
      • 7007.1107 Application and permit content related to inclusion of EMS provisions in state permits

Other MPCA and EPA incentives


MPCA provides these links solely as a service; no endorsement of any particular site’s content is intended or implied.

Minnesota’s ISO 14001 companies


PDF icon List of consultants active in Minnesota - Providers of EMS/ISO 14001 development, registration, auditing, or related services (p-ems5-02)