Compliance and enforcement

Sappi paper mill



Every Minnesotan expects healthy air, clean water, and sustainable lands. The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) is responsible for ensuring more than 84,000 permitted facilities, and other regulated communities in the state comply with rules and regulations designed to protect the environment and human health.

Whether it is a local waste water treatment plant or a manufacturing facility, the MPCA inspects permitted facilities, investigates public complaints, and reviews required reports and files to ensure standards are being met.

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Providing assistance

The MPCA provides technical assistance and training to help permitted facilities and regulated communities meet their requirements. The agency works cooperatively with any permitted facility to prevent pollution and avoid future permit violations.

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Holding violators accountable

When environmental rules and regulations are violated, the resulting pollution can be harmful to people and the environment. Enforcement actions may include warnings, field citations, administrative penalty orders (APOs), stipulation agreements (STIPs), and consent decrees.

The MPCA’s enforcement actions are necessary to hold the regulated community accountable and achieve compliance with regulations. Foremost, the MPCA wants to help avoid future permit violations.

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Enforcing with transparency

The MPCA expects regulated parties to remain in compliance with permit and regulatory requirements that directly protect human health and the environment. To preserve the public’s trust in the enforcement process, the MPCA provides transparency on enforcement actions taken within agency program areas.

Enforcement reports and announcements

The MPCA releases mid-year and end-of-year enforcement reports that summarize closed violation cases.



News releases

In addition to summary reports, the MPCA routinely announces specific enforcement actions.



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Enforcement concern or complaint?

Call the MPCA if you have concerns about local air pollution/quality, water runoff, or hazardous waste: 651-296-6300

Or online: Resident Complaint form.


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Answers to frequently asked questions about compliance and enforcement of environmental rules in Minnesota.