Minnesota Department of Transportation

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Project development

Environmental process | Environmental review

Environmental Due Diligence (EDD) for Property Acquisition


State and federal laws can impose environmental liability on a new property owner regardless of who caused the contamination or when they caused it. Completing the EDD process before acquiring property reduces MnDOT’s risk of liability of being named a responsible party to investigate and clean up contaminated property.

When to use this subject

The EDD process is required on all projects where the state is acquiring right of way, including, but not limited to, the following types of property transactions:

  • Fee
  • Permanent easements (e.g., highway, transportation, slope, wall maintenance, drainage)
  • Temporary easements (e.g., construction, building removal)
  • Permission to use property under the terms of a lease or a permit
  • Commissioner’s Orders on roadways of other jurisdictions
  • Transfers of custodial control
  • Excess property
  • Rail bank
  • Facilities (including shared facilities)
  • Any project in which a local unit of government or other party acquires property with the expectation that MnDOT must become the owner

For specific process information, see the processother guidance, and legal authority pages and/or contact the individuals on the contacts page.

How this subject fits into the overall project development process

The EDD evaluation requires early involvement among project planners, designers, district right of way staff, and OES. This early involvement should occur during the scoping process to help MnDOT identify environmental risks associated with acquiring particular properties prior to acquisition. An EDD evaluation must identify environmental risks such as contaminated soil and groundwater or solid waste such as asbestos materials.  Once an EDD analysis has cleared a property, MnDOT can proceed with right of way acquisition.

There are three levels of EDD evaluation:  EDD-1, EDD-2, and EDD-3.  Most projects only require EDD-1 and EDD-2.  Higher environmental risk properties are evaluated through the EDD-3 analysis. See MnDOT Policy OP009:  Environmental Due Diligence for Property Acquisition for more information about these levels.

Organizations involved