Brownfields are abandoned, idled, or underused industrial and commercial properties where financing expansion or redevelopment is complicated by actual or suspected environmental contamination.
By investigating and cleaning up brownfield sites, many of which are blighted properties in inner-city areas, redevelopment can take place without fear of risk to human health or potential environmental liabilities. This benefits Minnesota communities by reducing urban sprawl, enhancing the livability of neighborhoods, and creating new businesses, jobs, and an improved tax base.
The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's (MPCA) Brownfield Program was created to help enable the sale and redevelopment of brownfield sites.
Brownfield Program services
The MPCA Brownfield Program is a fee-for-service program that provides technical assistance and issuance of various liability assurance letters to promote the investigation, cleanup, and redevelopment of property that is contaminated with petroleum and/or hazardous substances. Customers include property owners, prospective purchasers, developers, development agencies, lending institutions, non-profit organizations, and local units of government.
To apply for help
To enroll in the Brownfield or Voluntary Remediation Program, use MPCA's e-Services.
Get started with e-Services. If you do not already have an account to use any of the MPCA's e-Services: Getting started with MPCA e-Services
Along with your application, please include a one-page cover letter that summarizes your request. Include all known MPCA ID#s associated to the site, and tell us if the request is grant related. Reference the cover letter as a ‘Phase I update’ and submit with your application.
A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) must be submitted with the application, unless desired services are limited to a VIC Lender Letter or certain petroleum-related services, such as expedited review of a petroleum tank release site, Tank Removal Verification Letter, and/or General Liability Letter. The Phase I ESA must be prepared in accordance with the All Appropriate Inquiry (AAI) standard as per 40 C.F.R. Part 312 and must be no older than one year. In some cases, with MPCA staff concurrence, an older Phase I ESA can be submitted with a Phase I ESA update. The MPCA will not process the application if a required Phase I is omitted.
Subsequent Submittals at Active Brownfield or Voluntary Superfund projects. If you are submitting reports, information, or requests at an active Brownfield or Voluntary Superfund project, do NOT submit via the MPCA’s e-service. Send the document(s) directly to the MPCA project manager(s) assigned to the project. You must include the current MPCA Billing ID and or BF/SF ID in the subject line of the email submittal. Failure to submit documents to the current project manager(s) or to include a site ID in the subject line may result in delays.
Cleanup guidance for brownfield redevelopment projects
About brownfield sites
Search for contaminated sites
To search for contaminated sites that are or have been addressed by MPCA's cleanup programs, go to the Contaminated sites webpage.
Request specific information from brownfield project files
To request information about a specific brownfield project, please complete an information request form. Any questions about information requests may be directed to the MPCA Records Management staff, or call 651-757-2728 or 1-844-828-0942.