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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)
Active dates:1967-

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


The Pollution Control Agency (PCA) 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. 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.

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.

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.

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).

When the PCA was created in 1967, its legal structure included a Citizen's Board. In 2015, the MPCA Citizens' Board was eliminated by Laws of Minn. 2015, 1st Sp. Sess., chap. 4, art. 4, sec. 114-117, due in part, according to news reports at the time, to lobbying efforts from big agricultural groups. In August 2015, Governor Dayton issued Executive Order 15-15, establishing the Governor's Committee to Advise the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency.

Agency heads:


  • John P. Badalich, 1967-1971
  • Grant J. Merritt, 1971-1975
  • Peter L. Gove, 1975-1977
  • Sandra S. Gardebring, 1977-1978
  • Terry M. Hoffman, 1979-1980
  • Louis J. Breimhurst, 1981-1982
  • Sandra S. Gardebring, 1983-1984
  • 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.
2024 legislative proposals and ideas. Minnesota Pollution Control Agency, July 2023.
Pollution Control Agency Commissioners, 1967-present. Minnesota Legislative Reference Library, November 2021.
Dayton uses executive authority to preserve citizen input into MPCA decisions. Land Stewardship Project, 8/10/2015.
News clippings and documents. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1972-2017.
News clippings and documents: Commissioner of Pollution Control. Agencies Notebook Collection, 1967-2021.
Record last updated: 04/22/2024

All information on this group from the Library’s collection of agency notebooks has been digitized. These materials are incorporated into the “documents/articles” section of the record. Please contact a librarian with any questions. The Minnesota Agencies database is a work in progress.

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