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Minnesota Agencies

Information on Minnesota State Agencies, Boards, Task Forces, and Commissions

Compiled by the Minnesota Legislative Reference Library

Pollution Control Agency

Also known as:
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
Minnesota Pollution Control Agency Citizens' Board
Active dates:1967-

Administer and enforce laws relating to air and water pollution control and solid waste disposal in Minnesota.


The Pollution Control Agency was created in 1967 to replace the Water Pollution Control Commission and assume all of its authority and responsibility for air and water pollution control and solid waste disposal (Laws 1967 c882). It has authority to administer and enforce all laws relating to water, air, and noise pollution in the state, plus additional responsibilities in regulating solid waste disposal, pollution-related land use planning, and toxic and hazardous waste disposal.

The agency originally had three divisions. The Division of Water Quality collects water quality data and establishes standards, provides engineering and technical assistance to wastewater treatment facilities, and issues permits for treatment facilities. The Air Quality Division maintains air quality standards in high pollutant areas, tries to prevent deterioration of air quality in clean-air areas, and enforces state noise standards. The Division of Solid and Hazardous Waste issues permits for solid and hazardous waste facilities, oversees planning and development of solid waste management plans, and develops an over-all strategy for ground-water protection. In 1971 the Division of Special Services was created, which conducted long-range planning and research on environmental impacts not explored by the other divisions, developed plans and new programs and was responsible for special pollution problems. This division was terminated in 1975.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) Citizens' Board considered and made decisions on varied and complex pollution problems that affect areas of the state. The agency board originally had seven members but this was changed to nine in 1969 (Laws 1969 c1038). The members were appointed by the governor to four-year terms. An executive director, appointed by the governor, was administrative head of the agency. Five district offices--in Rochester, Marshall, Fergus Falls, Brainerd, and Duluth--investigated complaints relating to water, air, or land pollution. They also advised regional planning boards, city councils, and township boards.

Effective 17 September 1993, solid and hazardous waste planning and assistance programs were transferred from the Office of Waste Management and incorporated in the Pollution Control Agency (Reorganization Order No.169, 18 August 1993, Arne Carlson).

In 2015, the MPCA Citizens' Board was eliminated by a Laws of Minnesota 2015, 1st Spec. Sess. chapter 4, article 4, sections 114-117.


The Citizens' Board consists of the commissioner and eight members who are appointed by the governor and confirmed by the senate to four-year staggered terms. One member must be knowledgeable in the field of agriculture, and one member must be a representative of organized labor. The commissioner serves as chair of the Board. Meetings are held monthly. Members must file with the Ethical Practices Board.

Entries for this agency in the Annual Compilation and Statistical Report of Multi-Member Agencies Report: 2015, 2014, 2013, 2012, 2011, 2010, 2009, 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, 2002, 2001, 2000, 1999, 1998, 1997, 1996, 1995, 1994, 1993, 1992, 1991, 1990, 1989, 1988, 1987, 1986, 1985, 1984, 1983, 1982, 1981, 1980, 1979, 1978.

Note: This report provides membership details as well as meeting information and a summary of the group's activities.

Agency heads:

Director: John P. Badalich, 1967-1971; Grant J. Merritt, 1971-1975; Peter L. Gove, 1975-1977; Sandra S. Gardebring, 1977-1978, 1983-1984; Terry M. Hoffman, 1979-1980; Louis J. Breimhurst, 1981-1982; Tom Kalitowski, 1984-1997; Gerald Willet, 1987-1991; Barbara Simms (Acting Director), 1991; Charles W. Williams, 1991-1996; Peder Larson, 1996-1999; Karen Studders, 1999-2002; Sheryl Corrigan, 2003-August, 2006; Brad Moore, August, 2006-November 2008; Paul Eger, 2009-2011; Paul Aasen, 2011-May, 2012; John Linc Stine, May 14, 2012-January 2019; Laura Bishop, January 2019 - July 6, 2021; Peter Tester, July 7, 2021 - October 31, 2021 (MPCA Deputy Commissioner serving as temporary Commissioner); Katrina Kessler, November 1, 2021 - 

Note: The Legislative Reference Library may have additional reports on or by this group available through our catalog.
Record last updated: 11/02/2021

Additional print information on this group may be available in the Library's collection of agency notebooks. Please contact a librarian for assistance. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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