In 1999, the Minnesota Legislature passed legislation that ensured the continuation of the Environmental Improvement Program, more commonly known as the Environmental Audit Program (EAP). This program encourages industries, businesses, and governments to examine how well a facility's operations are complying with local, state, and federal environmental regulations, and correct any problems that are identified.
The program focuses first on technical assistance and compliance, rather than enforcement. Organizations that conduct environmental audits are likely to take the necessary actions to correct problems, before the problems can develop into major environmental or public health issues.
Organizations that meet the program's requirements may receive protection from enforcement action, fines, and other penalties. However, the amnesty provisions do not apply to organizations involved with activities that cause serious harm to the environment or endanger public health. Also, the amnesty provisions do not apply to organizations involved in criminal activities, or to organizations that have committed the same violations within the past 3 years (if there was an enforcement action that resulted in imposition of a monetary penalty), or the past year (if there was an enforcement action that did not result in imposition of a monetary penalty).
A facility must submit a report to the MPCA (see the Report Inventory below) summarizing the results of the audit or the findings from the facility's environmental management system. Reports from smaller facilities must certify that the owner or operator has examined pollution prevention opportunities, while larger facilities must also submit the summary of a pollution prevention plan (see the "Cover Letter" or the "Environmental Audit Legislation" link below). A facility must correct problems identified within 90 days, or submit a performance schedule to the MPCA for approval, and describe steps that will be taken to prevent a recurrence of the problem(s).
You will find the following documents useful in successfully completing the program:
- Cover Letter (ea-p1-02)
- MPCA Environmental Audit Program - Fact Sheet (ea-p1-01)
- Fact Sheet: Pollution Prevention and Sustainable Activities
- Report inventory - Environmental audits
- Environmental Audit Legislation (Minn. Stat. 114C)
MPCA staff has created environmental audit checklists that cover a number of areas, such as water, air, solid waste, hazardous waste, and tanks. Some of these checklists are attached below. Organizations may choose to use their own forms or hire a consultant to perform their audit.
- Air Quality Audit Checklist - This document is currently being updated, please check back later.
- Air Quality Registration Option B Audit Checklist
- Air Quality Registration Option C Audit Checklist
- Air Quality Registration Option D Audit Checklist
- Basic Hazardous Waste Requirements for Businesses
- Environmental Audit Checklist - Fluorescent and HID Lamps (being updated, please check back later)
- Tanks at a Large Quantity Generator - Inspection Checklist
This document is currently being updated, please check back later.
Underground storage tanks
Does your facility or company store a petroleum or hazardous substance in a tank that is more than 10 percent underground?
Resources have been compiled for the following industries.
- Federal 40 CFR 60 Subpart I
- Compliance with Ambient Air Quality Standards
- Approved Materials, Fuels and Additives
- Throughput Limit, Performance Tests
- Dryer Burner
- Pollution Control Equipment
- Standards of Performance
- Wet Scrubbers
- Fabric Baghouse Control
- Air, Noise, and Odor Compliance
- Asphalt Cement and Petroleum Storage Tanks
Does your facility or company provide collision or mechanical repair services? See the "self checks" under the headings applicable to your operations located below.
- Motor vehicle air conditioners (ea-s1-09)
- Managing waste antifreeze (w-hw4-02)
- Brake Work
- Spray painting wastes: Filters, gun cleaner, and thinner (w-hw4-38)
- Floor drains, Separators and Traps, and Holding Tanks (w-hw4-18)
- Solvent-based Parts Washers (w-hw4-43)
- Aqueous-based Parts Washers (w-hw4-44)
- Managing Waste Tires
- Managing sorbents: Towels, wipes and rags (w-hw4-61)
MPCA has a fact sheet that explains the environmental responsibilities of vehicle salvage facilities.
Does your facility or company transfer, store, or otherwise handle, petroleum chemicals, liquid foods, or other liquids that, if spilled, might cause pollution of surface or groundwater? Or, does your facility or company operate a railroad, a pipeline, a barge, cargo trucks, or aboveground tanks with a total capacity of 10,000 gallons or more?
The MPCA invites your organization to participate in the Environmental Audit Program. If your organization meets the requirements of the Environmental Audit Program, a Green Star Award may be displayed for two years at the facility audited. Keep in mind, the Minnesota legislation requires that all environmental requirements be examined in the audit to be eligible.
If you have questions, or would like checklists not currently available on this Web site, contact Lisa Woog at 218-316-3891 or 800-657-3864 toll free.