Environmental Services inspections

We investigate and enforce environmental issues in Minneapolis. These include land, water, air and noise concerns.

Environmental concerns


Cars idling in traffic

Idling is illegal in Minneapolis

  • Cars and other gas or diesel-powered vehicles cannot idle more than three minutes except in traffic.
  • Buses, trucks and other diesel engine-powered vehicles cannot idle more than five minutes in a one-hour period.
  • Vehicle owners can receive a $200 fine per violation.


  • Vehicles may idle when stopped in traffic.
  • An occupied vehicle with a sleeper compartment may idle during a rest or sleep period.
  • A passenger bus may idle a maximum of 15 minutes while non-driver passengers are on board.

See Chapter 58 - Idling

Noise and sound

garbage truck


Construction and demolition

  • We allow construction and demolition noise from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. Monday through Friday.
  • After hours work requires a permit.

See After hours work

Garbage pickup

Garbage pickup noise is allowed 6:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m. within 500 feet of a residential property.

Yard or snow maintenance noise

  • Use of power lawnmowers, trimmers, saws, leaf blowers or similar tools is allowed from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m.
  • Use of snowblowers and snowplows is allowed anytime during an official snow emergency or within 24 hours of a snowfall of 1 inch or more.

Other sound

  • Outdoor amplified sound audible above the level of conversational speech at a distance of 50 feet likely requires a sound permit at any time. See Outdoor sound
  • Sound from a motor vehicle sound system or audio system:
    • Is illegal if clearly audible beyond 50 feet from where it is originating
    • Can be reported to 911 or the Crime Prevention Specialist in your precinct

Report a noise complaint

See Chapter 389 - Noise




Odors are unlawful when:

  • Air contaminants migrate from the premises and
  • Are identified by an inspector to be above the threshold of violation at an adjacent property

See Chapter 47.150 - Odor


oil spill


Environmental Services will:

  • Respond to spills that are five gallons or less
  • Assist the Fire Department and Public Works for larger spills as needed

See Chapter 287.100 - Oil or gasoline spills

Wells and tanks

person drilling well
  • Contact Environmental Services about possible wells or tanks on your property.
  • Work with a licensed well contractor to have a well or tank removed. 

See Chapter 48.260 - Wells

Contact us

Environmental Services Information

Health Department



Minneapolis 311


Office hours

7 a.m. – 7 p.m.
Monday – Friday