The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency's Emergency Management Unit (EMU) members are responsible for organizing the MPCA's efforts for oil and hazardous material emergencies. Chemical fires, train derailments, pipeline breaks, tanker truck accidents and petroleum vapors in a sewer are examples of environmental and public health emergencies to which MPCA EMU members respond.
To request state assistance or to report a petroleum or hazardous materials spill, contact the Minnesota Duty Officer at:
- 800-422-0798 or
These are 24-hours emergency response phone numbers.
The EMU works closely with local, county, state and federal public safety and environmental officials. On-call staff field over 2,000 spill calls annually for the entire state—24 hours a day, 365 days a year. Internal and external spill prevention and preparedness is an important part of the EMU's strategic plan and is carried out through proactive community planning, fire department training, exercises and drills, and enforcement.
Recent hurricanes, wildfires, and floods are harsh reminders that disasters do not wait. This summer, MPCA staff joined a host of other partners for a spill drill exercise on Minnesota’s North Shore.
The mission of the Emergency Management Unit
- Prevent unpermitted releases of pollutants
- Ensure emergency preparedness and planning
- Respond to environmental releases to support public safety protection and achieve cleanup. This is to be done in an efficient and coordinated fashion, which promotes a clean environment and satisfied stakeholders.
Members of the Emergency Management Unit, other MPCA staff, spillers and contractors are expected to follow the guidance in the Emergency Management Program Spill Cleanup Policy.
- Response plan: Western Lake Superior Area Contingency Plan
- Response plan: Minneapolis/St. Paul Sub-Area Plan
- Response plan: Area Plan for Minnesota, Wisconsin, Illinois, Ohio, Michigan and Indiana
- Upper Mississippi River Basin Water Quality Plan
- Response plan: National Oil and Hazardous Substance Pollution Contingency Plan
- Response plan: EPA Emergency Response Programs
- Response plan: Coast Guard Marine Safety and Environmental Protection
- Minn. Stat: Reporting spills (115.061)
- Minn. Stat.: Preventing and preparing for spills (115E)
- Federal oil spill prevention and preparedness regulations (U.S. EPA)
- Toolbox for local units of government recovering from a natural disaster (fact sheets, customizable flyers, forms)
- Federal Emergency Management Agency
- Inland Sensitivity Atlas — Spill response plans must be designed to protect local surface waters.
- Minnesota Department of Public Safety
- Agricultural Chemical Emergency Response (Minn. Dept of Agriculture)
- Great Lakes Commission
- Emergency response (U.S. EPA)
- Minnesota Geological Survey
- MPCA remediation sites