Minnesota Department of Transportation

511 Travel Info

Project development

Functional groups

Environmental Investigation Unit


The goal of the Environmental Investigation Unit (EIU) is to ensure early identification and documentation of known or suspected contamination (including contaminated soil, groundwater, soil vapor, buried solid waste, etc.) within existing and proposed right of way and adjacent properties so that the department can work within the regulatory framework and protect its short term and long term liability.

Products the unit provides

  • Response to scoping/project initiation: initial desktop review of project
  • Response to P6 scheduling of EIU activities for a project
  • Early Notification Memo (ENM) EIU responses
  • “Contaminated/Regulated Material Checklist from Cooperative Construction Projects” (last page of the guidance document) 
  • Approved Environmental Due Diligence (EDD)-1, EDD-2, and EDD-3 Forms
  • Reports documenting the underground storage tank removals
  • Phase I and Phase II Environmental Site Assessment (PH I ESA) Reports and Updated Reports
  • Response Action Plans (RAP)/Construction Contingency Plans (CCP) and addendums
  • Special provisions for contaminated materials
  • RAP/CCP Implementation Reports (documentation on contamination material handling after construction complete)
  • Contracts for environmental construction oversight monitoring
  • No Association Determination (NAD) Liability Approval Letters from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA)
  • General Liability Letters for Petroleum Releases from the MPCA
  • RAP/CCP Approval Letters from the MPCA
  • Response Actions Complete Letters from the MPCA
  • Other information as it arises

What to expect from the unit

  • All the deliverables listed above
  • Awareness of the federal, state, and local laws that govern the handling of contaminated materials
  • Training on environmental processes
  • Participation in the P6 scheduling process
  • Duties of the department liaison with regulatory agencies and other parties as needed

What you need to provide to the unit


  • Project Initiation/Project Scoping/P6 Initiation: endpoints of the project, type of work anticipated and when project is expected to begin


  • Coordination and distribution of ENM, EDD, Hydraulics/Utilities/Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA)/Bike and Pedestrian Trails/ponds recommendations/right of way needs
  • Historical or local knowledge of buried structures or contamination


  • Design information/excavation information/30 percent EIU Checklist
  • Construction limits
  • Proposed utility work: location, depth, work type (replace vs. lining)
  • Finalized recommendations for hydraulics/ADA/bike and pedestrian trails/ponds
  • Property acquisition details:
    • EDD-1 map
    • Orders only form (in REALMS)
    • Geo-referenced workmaps
    • EDD-2 information
    • Parcel sketches
  • 30, 60, 90, 100 percent plans (pdf/dgn files)
  • Update on Gantt chart schedules changes
  • Change in scope of work
  • Letting date changes: advancement, delay, shelved, cancelled
  • Project staff changes
  • Review and comment of EIU’s special provisions
  • Special provisions finalized as shown in the proposal

Property acquisition

  • Information on proposed parcel acquisitions (in the REALMS application):
    • EDD-1 map: start and stop endpoints
    • Orders Only form (Temporary Orders (TO) and Commissioners Orders (CO))
    • Geo-referenced workmaps
    • EDD-2 information (access closure, Temporary Rights to Construct (TRC), Temporary Easements (TE), zero-dollar permits, permanent easements (PE), fee)
    • EDD-3, if needed
    • Parcel sketches
  • Changes in parcel acquisition (i.e, EDD-2 parcel dimensions/locations change)
  • Right of Access (ROA) prior to drilling so that we can drill on properties to be acquired
  • Field title interview results notification of environmental features (tanks, wells, septic systems, etc.) located within acquisition parcel boundaries (and in project corridor, if noted)
  • Identified institutional controls, deed restrictions, affidavits, environmental covenants
  • EIU does not have access to documents and relies on the district for data
  • The state will require regulatory approval to conduct any project work on properties with these types of restrictions 


  • Construction anticipated start and stop dates and number of years of construction
  • Engineer in charge of the job
  • Pre-construction meeting notice invite
  • Location of staging
  • Link to “As Advertised Letting Package” (includes finalized special provisions and 100% Plans)
  • Disposal tickets and manifests from landfill disposal
  • Dewatering discharge monitoring reports
  • Newly discovered contamination, tank(s), debris, or demolished building foundation
  • Project staff changes
  • Costs for Government Accounting Standards Board 49 (GASB49) (includes all environmental costs – contaminated and regulated)

What the unit expects from you

  • Project design (EIU Package or 30-percent design) and property acquisition information prior to P6 EIU activity start date
  • Communication on the project schedule, scoping changes, or changes to the project letting date
  • Notice of other or new information as it arises