The Minnesota Department of Agriculture (MDA) may require a contaminated site to be investigated and cleaned up through the Comprehensive Cleanup Program. Contamination may be documented at a site through sampling of soil impacted by a spill, from a leak or spill near a storage tank or building, or other areas where agricultural chemicals are stored, produced, transported, distributed, disposed, or handled. Many of the sites addressed through the MDA Comprehensive Cleanup Program include current and former agricultural chemical retail facilities in rural Minnesota which supply pesticides and fertilizers to support agriculture.
Once contamination has been identified, parties responsible for the contamination are offered the opportunity to use the Voluntary / Brownfields (AgVIC) Program to address the problem. If the responsible party declines, then the risk of the contamination to human health and the environment is evaluated for the risk to soil, groundwater and surface water. The MDA staff will make the final site-specific assessment of risk.
Once the contaminated site is scored, the site is placed on the MDA’s Priority List. The Priority List also includes sites that do not have documented contamination or an incident, but were known to have been used for the manufacture, storage, transportation, distribution, disposal, or handling of agricultural chemicals.
In addition, some sites with known contamination are no longer used for agricultural chemical operations. These sites are given the designation “AB” for "abandoned" as shown in the Priority List. It should be noted that the MDA has not confirmed that sites without the “AB” designation are still in operation.
Activation of Sites
Sites on the Priority List with known contamination are evaluated and selected for activation based on risk. When a site is activated, the MDA sends a letter to the responsible party requesting an investigation and that an environmental consultant be contracted to conduct the investigation.
The MDA sends letters to responsible parties reminding them that their site is listed on the MDA’s Priority List. The property owner and local governmental unit are also copied on these letters so that they are aware of the use of the property for agricultural chemical operations, the presence of contamination, if known, and that the MDA may require an investigation and cleanup of the property.
Request Specific Information about a Site
To request information about a specific site, contact the Data Management Unit at 651-201-6698 with the MDA Project File Number, the name, and the location of the site.
Other Cleanup Programs