Environmental concerns

At Environmental Services, we work as the investigation and enforcement department for environmental issues in Minneapolis. We investigate land, water, air, and noise concerns, including common concerns.



The anti-idling ordinance restricts the idling of cars and other gas or diesel-powered vehicles to no more than three minutes in a one-hour period. The ordinance also limits the idling of buses, trucks, and other diesel engine-powered vehicles to no than five minutes in a one-hour period.

There are exceptions to the three-minute idling restriction for cars and most other gas or diesel-powered vehicles:

  • Vehicles may idle when stopped in traffic.
  • An occupied vehicle with a sleeper-berth compartment may idle for purposes of air conditioning or heating during a rest or sleep. period. Vehicles may idle for 30 minutes in a 60 minute period while waiting to load or unload.
  • A passenger bus may idle a maximum of 15 minutes in any 60 minute period to maintain passenger comfort while non-driver passengers are onboard.

More information can be found in Chapter 58 - Idling


Construction/demolition noise is allowed from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday. An After-Hours Work Permit is required for work anytime on Saturday or Sunday. Homeowners are not required to obtain an After Hours Work Permit on weekdays from 7:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. and on weekends from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. 

  • Garbage pickup noise is allowed 6:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m. within 500 feet of a residential property. Complaints about this should be submitted to Business Licensing.
  • Outdoor amplified sound audible above the level of conversational speech at a distance of 50 feet likely requires a Sound Permit at any time.
  • Sound from a motor vehicle sound system or audio system clearly audible beyond 50 feet from where it is originating is illegal. Direct complaints on motor vehicles to 911 or the Crime Prevention Specialist in your precinct.
  • Power lawnmowers, power trimmers, power saws, leaf blowers, or similar tools are allowed to operate between 7:00 a.m. - 10:00 p.m.
  • Snowblowers/snowplows may be operated:
    • At any time during an official snow emergency.
    • Any time within 24 hours following a snowfall of 1 inch or more.

More information can be found in Chapter 389 - Noise


The City of Minneapolis has a threshold and criteria for nuisance odors. Odors are unlawful if air contaminants migrate from the premises and are identified by an Inspector to be above the threshold of violation at an adjacent property.

More information can be found at 47.150 - Odor


Environmental Services will respond to spills that are 5 gallons or less and will assist the Fire Department and Public Works for larger spills as needed. 

More information can be found at 287.100 - Oil or gasoline spills

Wells and tanks

Email envservicesinfo@minneapolismn.gov if you have questions about possible wells or tanks on your property. If you are having a well or tank removed, be sure to work with a licensed well contractor. 

More information can be found at 48.260 - Wells


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Contact us

Minneapolis Health Department




Public Service Building
505 Fourth Ave. S., Room 520
Minneapolis, MN 55415



Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday