Environmental Protection Programs Minnesota | Ombudsman, Loan Program and Potential Problems with Property

Small Business Ombudsman

The Small Business Ombudsman serves as a representative, or a liaison, for small businesses in their interactions with the MPCA. The Ombudsman offers the following services: confidential assistance to small businesses involving regulations and compliance; resolution of complaints or disputes involving regulations and small businesses; help in identifying funding sources to purchase equipment that meets or exceeds environmental regulations; and coordination of small business input during rule development. The Ombudsman also solicits feedback from small businesses and trade associations for the development of assistance activities tailored to small business needs.

The ombudsman is located at the MPCA at the address and telephone number listed in the Resource Directory section of this Guide.

The Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program

For existing businesses, the Small Business Environmental Improvement Loan Program offers low interest loans of up to $50,000 for financing environmental projects such as equipment or process upgrades and costs associated with the investigation and clean-up of hazardous materials. More information and an application are available by calling the Small Business Ombudsman at PCA at the address and telephone number listed in the Resource Directory section of this Guide.

Potential Environmental Problems with Property

Real-estate transactions have consequences for property buyers, sellers, developers, lenders, insurance companies, landlords and tenants. These parties have an interest in limiting the potential liability involved with the transfer of land that has been affected by hazardous substances, pollutants or contaminants. As a result, the MPCA receives requests from many businesses for assistance with evaluating and dealing with known or suspected land contamination.

The state has a range of services to assist those involved in land transfers in dealing with potential problems. In most cases, potential land buyers or developers will request or be willing to perform an environmental assessment of the property before sale. If contamination is discovered, then decisions need to be made about who will pay for further investigation or cleanup and how health or environmental risks will be minimized or eliminated. The following programs can be helpful to those involved with land transactions, including environmental consulting firms hired to help businesses assess or clean up property.


CREDITS: This is an excerpt from A Guide to Starting a Business in Minnesota, provided by the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office, Twenty-eighth Edition, January 2010, written by Charles A. Schaffer, Madeline Harris, and Mark Simmer. Copies are available without charge from the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development, Small Business Assistance Office.

This post is also part of a series of posts on Minnesota Environmental Protection Programs and how they affect starting a business in Minnesota.