Brownfields

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.

PDF icon MPCA Brownfield Program 2021 annual report (c-brwnfld1-06c)

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.

Apply for help

Get started with e-Services. Enroll in the Brownfield or Voluntary Remediation Program. If you do not already have a MPCA e-Services account: PDF icon Getting started with MPCA e-Services

Include a one-page cover letter with your application that summarizes your request and project timeline, and tell us if the request is grant related. Upload the cover letter as a Phase I update during the application process. Include on the application all known MPCA IDs associated with the site, and ensure that the property identification number(s) entered for your site are correct.

Submit a Phase I Environmental Site Assessment (Phase I ESA) 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, or General Liability Letter. The Phase I ESA must be prepared in accordance with ASTM International Standard E1527-21 and must be no older than one year. In some cases, with MPCA concurrence, an older Phase I ESA can be submitted with a Phase I ESA update. The MPCA will not process the application if the required Phase I ESA is omitted.

Subsequent submittals at Active Brownfield or Voluntary Superfund projects. If you are submitting reports, information, or requests related to an active Brownfield or Cooperative 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. Please include the MPCA Billing ID and/or the 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

To search for contaminated sites that are or have been addressed by MPCA's cleanup programs, go to the Contaminated sites webpage.

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.

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