Minnesota Environment - General regulations & environmental compliance analysis

Minnesota Environment - General: What you need to know

Overview of Minnesota Environmental Rules


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In Minnesota, the counterpart to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA). MPCA is responsible for protecting Minnesota's land, water, and air from pollution. Minnesota has been delegated authority by EPA to administer and enforce federal regulatory programs for air emissions, wastewater and stormwater discharges, and underground storage tanks (USTs). The state generally follows federal rules for those programs, except some UST rules are stricter than corresponding federal rules. The state has its own solid waste management, hazardous waste management, and wetlands protection rules that are stricter in many cases than corresponding federal rules. The state has also been delegated authority by the federal Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to administer and enforce safety and health rules for all employers (public and private, except federal) in Minnesota. The state has developed several of its own standards that are stricter than OSHA standards.


Minnesota's air program is shaped by its state implementation plan (SIP). The SIP is a plan that sets forth basic strategies for implementation, maintenance, and enforcement of the National Ambient Air Quality Standards. As mandated by the Clean Air Act (CAA), each state must adopt and submit a SIP to the EPA for approval. Minnesota's SIP was officially submitted to EPA in January 1972 and is frequently amended to comply with the 1990 CAA amendments. The SIP focuses on permitting, requirements for nonattainment areas, hazardous air pollutants, and numerous other air-related requirements.

MPCA is responsible for administering ...

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