Remediation Continued Services

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Programs in the Remediation Division at the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency are continuing to operate during the COVID-19 response, however some of our required work will be postponed or reduced during the response period. This message includes guidance on these temporary changes. This guidance is consistent with the Governor’s Executive Order 20-20; Section 6 – Exemptions to Critical Sectors.

Guiding principles for Remediation Division work during COVID-19 response

For indoor work activities that involve a contractor, property owner, or tenant, all parties, including the MPCA, must consent with the work proceeding. If any party does not feel comfortable with the work proceeding because of the COVID-19 pandemic, we will postpone the indoor work.

All access coordination during the COVID-19 response should be confirmed via email or in writing from the property owner before proceeding with work or a decision is made to stop work.  This documentation must be sent to the MPCA project staff before mobilizing for field work or a decision is made to stop work during the COVID-19 response period.

Postponement of work

Remediation Division Programs will be postponing the following indoor work activities during the COVID-19 response:

  1. Field inspections and audits inside buildings that are not associated with an expedited action situation; and,
  2. Any sampling inside a building (residential or commercial) that the MPCA or its contractors do not currently have access to and the risk is determined to be low.  Low risk is defined as below the MDH drinking water guidance values or below the Expedited Action framework outlined in:

a. Site Remediation & Redevelopment (SRR) Vapor Intrusion Best Management Practices (VI BMPs); and

b. Petroleum Remediation Program (PRP) Vapor Intrusion Investigations Performed during Site Investigations (PRP 4-01a).

Regulatory Flexibility Requests

All regulated parties remain obligated to take all available actions necessary to ensure compliance with environmental laws, regulations, and requirements to protect the health and safety of the citizens of Minnesota and the environment.  However, in the instance where regulated parties have an unavoidable noncompliance situation, directly due to the impacts from the coronavirus, the MPCA has established an email box to accept requests for the MPCA to consider providing regulatory flexibility, where possible, to assist entities in alternative approaches to maintain regulatory compliance.  Additional information on the regulatory flexibility request process can be found at:

File reviews and data requests

To protect our staff and the community during the COVID-19 pandemic, the MPCA migrated staff to telework.  Thus, our ability to provide responses to data requests will be affected. There will be delays in data collection and our ability may be limited if onsite, in-person file reviews are requested or if a request requires scanning or copying of documents or retrieval of documents from archives.   

We will continue to process your requests, and we will communicate with you about anticipated delays.  If printed materials are needed to respond to your requests, MPCA File Management staff will keep your request open until we can provide access to paper copies.  Please be aware that we can more readily access and provide data that is already in electronic form.