The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) believes that is important for facilities to identify and clean-up contaminated areas, within the proposed construction area, prior to construction. However, in general, unless a facility is included on the Incident Response Unit's (IRU) priority list, has a contingent closure at the construction site from a previous cleanup, is already active in any IRU cleanup program, or if there are indications of agricultural chemical contamination such as residue in the soil, preconstruction sampling is not required by the MDA. In order to ensure the integrity of the soil sampling results, samples should be collected using the recommended procedures provided in the Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) guidance document GD11 Soil Sampling Guidance and the analyses should be completed by laboratories with quality assurance/quality control plans that have been approved by the MDA. A list of these laboratories is available from the MDA (GD23 Pre-approved Commercial Laboratories: Fixed Base and Mobile).
The MDA recommends that sampling be conducted by an individual who has been instructed in proper field sampling procedures. Soil sampling should follow the general guidelines below.
We suggest samples be analyzed for total Kjeldahl nitrogen (TKN), nitrate nitrogen, MDA List 1 pesticides, and any other agricultural chemicals that, due to past practices may be present in the area of construction.
If you observe any agricultural chemical contamination, such as stains or residue in soil, or if the laboratory analyses of soil or water samples detect contamination, you should immediately notify the MDA. Call the 24-hour duty officer at 651-649-5451 (metro) or 1-800-422-0798 (non-metro) to report the suspected incident. MDA staff may request that a pre-construction assessment report be submitted for review. The report should include all laboratory results, a map of the facility as it looks prior to construction with the sample locations noted on it, and a map of the facility as it is proposed to be constructed.
Based on the information provided in the report, you will be given the option to enter into our Agricultural Voluntary Investigation and Cleanup (AgVIC) program or to have the site prioritized (MDA will rank the site in priority order with other agricultural chemical contamination sites) for review by MDA's Comprehensive Program. AgVIC reviews sites in the order received and estimates a 30 to 45 day review time.
Initial sampling and analytical costs incurred in conducting a pre-construction assessment may not be eligible for reimbursement through the Agricultural Chemical Response and Reimbursement Account Program (ACRRA). If contamination is discovered at your site and the MDA subsequently requests that it be further investigated and/or cleaned up, you may be eligible to receive partial reimbursement from ACRRA.
Please be advised that a pre-construction assessment may not address all areas of potential contamination at the facility, and will not indicate whether the ground water beneath the site has been affected by agricultural chemicals.
Prior to sample collection, contact Gary Elsner at 651-201-6268 for further guidance.
651-201-6061 • Fax: 651-201-6112
Pesticide & Fertilizer Management Division