City changes business pollution fees to scale with pollution levels

Adjusted charges reflect costs to human health and the environment

To make doing business with the City simpler and put fees in line with costs, the City of Minneapolis has changed its pollution control fee structure. The new structure eliminates fees for many small businesses across Minneapolis, and it charges businesses more when they pollute more. The City charges businesses pollution impact fees for equipment or operations that affect or could affect the environment in Minneapolis. The fees pay for environmental work on polluted indoor and outdoor air, groundwater and surface waters, and land.

In an urban environment, the cost of pollution to public health can be five times greater than in outstate areas. Built into the fee restructure are exemptions for businesses actively working to reduce their impacts. Businesses can avoid paying fees for two to 10 years by reducing their pollution emissions between 10 and 40 percent.

Changes include:

·         Charging businesses more for polluting more.

·         Lowering fees for businesses that use pollution control equipment.

·         Removing the sanitary sewer fees for 3,976 small businesses, office buildings and churches.

·         Adding registration requirements to identify and track risks to land and water resources.

The City restructured the fees to align payment more with the services provided, promote technologies that reduce pollution, make it more attractive to change outdated practices and eliminate hazards, and get pollutant risks on the books.

The fees help fund incentive programs with up to $50,000 per business to reduce pollution. Businesses can apply for cost share funds here, and anyone can learn about the City of Minneapolis’ Green Business Cost Share program by watching this video.

The work Minneapolis is doing in improving air quality is part of being a leading partner in Clean Air Minnesota, a public-private partnership between governments, nonprofits and business.

Published Apr 19, 2016

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