Minnesota Targeted Brownfields Assessment Program

The MPCA Brownfield Program administers the Minnesota Targeted Brownfields Assistance Program (MNTBAP) using funding from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The funding allows the MPCA to offer environmental assessment grants for qualifying projects to assist with the redevelopment/reuse of brownfield properties, including the creation of community greenspace. Work is performed by MPCA contractors at no cost to the grant recipient.


File MNTBAP application form and cover letter template (c-brwnfld3-01)

For more information

If you have questions or need assistance to apply, please contact the MPCA MNTBAP coordinators directly, or call toll-free at 1-800-657-3864.

Questions and answers

What is a Brownfield?

A brownfield is any property that is abandoned or under-used due to the known or likely presence of contamination. You may have noticed brownfield sites in your community. They can be fenced-in empty lots or vacant buildings that remain idle for long periods of time. Common examples include abandoned gas stations, closed factories or manufacturing facilities, and former railroad yards.

By investigating and cleaning up a brownfield site, whether it be in an urban area or a small town, 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, creating jobs, and increasing tax revenues.

What is the MNTBAP grant?

MNTBAP is funded with support from the EPA through national brownfields legislation enacted in 2002. One of the provisions of the Small Business Liability Relief and Brownfields Revitalization Act authorizes funding to states for brownfields-related activities. The grant can be used for:

  • Phase I Environmental Site Assessments (ESAs)
  • Sampling and Analysis Plans/Work Plans (SAPs/WPs)
  • Phase II ESAs
  • Hazardous Materials Building Surveys
  • Preparation of Response Action Plans (RAPs)

The environmental assessment work is performed by one of the MPCA’s Remediation Master Contractors.

The MNTBAP grant covers Brownfield Program fees for technical review and approval of work plans, investigation reports, and cleanup plans so that landowners, lenders, and developers can better understand the environmental condition of the property and the costs associated with site redevelopment. The MNTBAP grant also covers the fees associated with obtaining liability assurance letters for contamination identified at the property.

What Brownfield Sites are eligible?

  • Public or privately owned property within Minnesota, including tribal lands
  • Sites where real or perceived contamination from hazardous substances and/or petroleum has hindered property reuse
  • Proposed project has community support and contributes to a broader vision benefiting the community
  • Preference to sites that convert a brownfield property to community greenspace, such as a pocket park or urban garden
  • Preference to projects in Environmental Justice areas when that project will benefit the existing neighborhood and avoid physical or cultural displacement
  • Preference to sites that show a commitment by a unit of government, a non-profit organization, or a community organization to complete the brownfield redevelopment process
  • The applicant must not be a responsible party for the contamination.

How do I apply?

What are Environmental Site Assessments (ESA)?

  • A Phase I Environmental Site Assessment is the first step in a site investigation and involves review of current and historical site operations and other relevant information sources in order to identify potential environmental concerns at a property. PDF icon Phase I environmental site assessments (ASTSWMO)
  • A Phase II Environmental Site Assessment involves the collection of soil, groundwater, soil vapor, and other types of environmental samples as needed to determine if contamination is present and at what concentrations. PDF icon Phase II environmental site assessments (ASTSWMO)

What is a Response Action Plan?

A Response Action Plan (RAP) is a formal, technical guide for cleaning up a property, taking into account the planned future use of the property. PDF icon Response Action Plan/Risk-based decision making for property cleanup (ASTSWMO)