Environmental Health

Environmental Health

Environmental health is an integral part of Minnesota's public health system. Horizon Public Health works on many environmental issues, including natural and man-made disasters, air and water quality, food borne disease outbreaks, and other health safety issues. Among the most prominent of the services offered by Horizon Public Health is our work with local food and lodging establishments in Douglas and Pope Counties. We establish and enforce health standards to ensure clean and healthy conditions in hotels, motels, resorts, restaurants, manufactured home parks, recreational camping areas, school kitchens, and youth camps. We educate the public about food safety. Please explore the links below for more detailed information.

How Do I?

Apply for a...

  • food establishment license
  • lodging establishment license
  • manufactured/mobile home park license
  • RV park/campground license
  • Public swimming pool license
  • youth camp license
  • special event food stand license
  • special event camping area license
  • cook-off license
  • plan review for a new establishment
  • plan review for remodeling a current licensed establishment

Open a...

  • Restaurant/Bar
  • Coffee House
  • Hotel/motel
  • Resort
  • RV Park/campground
  • Mobile/manufactured home park
  • Public Swimming Pool


  • foodborne illness
  • hoarding situation
  • surfacing sewage
  • mold
  • improper disposal/storage of garbage


  • complaint inspection
  • copy of inspection report
  • plan review application
  • license application

Special Events

A special event food stand is defined as a food and beverage establishment which is used in conjunction with celebrations and special events, and which operates no more than three times annually (per calendar year, January – December) for no more than ten total days.

  • Who Needs a Special Event Food Stand Permit?
    Any individual or organization providing food at events that are open to the public must obtain a Special Event Permit from our office, whether the food is served for free or for a charge. Exception: any event held on church property is exempt from this requirement as long as the event is on church property.
  • How Do I Get a Special Event Food Stand Application?
    Applications/packets are available from our office; you can contact Melissa Howe to request an application packet, or stop in at 809 Elm Street, Alexandria (Douglas County Public Health) or at
    211 East Minnesota Avenue, Glenwood, MN
    (Pope County Public Health), or you may download the application and materials from this page.
  • When Should the Special Event Food Stand Application be Returned?
    We recommend the application be returned with the required fee a minimum of three weeks prior to the event, no less than 14 days prior to the event. This allows staff to adequately review the application and make any changes necessary well in advance of the event. If the application is submitted to our office less than 14 days prior to the event, a late fee will be assessed in addition to the regular fee.

Licensing & Inspection

  • Food Establishments
  • Lodging Establishments
  • Manufactured/Mobile Home Parks
  • RV Parks
  • Special Event Food Stands/Cook-Offs
  • Swimming Pools
  • Youth Camps

Resources for Licensed Establishments

  • Plan Reviews
  • Inspection Reports
  • Consultation/questions
  • Fact Sheets
  • Forms
  • License Applications
  • MN Rules & Statutes
  • Ordinances
  • Policies

Air Quality

Horizon Environmental Health’s involvement in indoor air quality is limited to the investigation of complaints involving buildings with some kind of public occupancy and a possible public health threat (such as an apartment building with possible mold contamination) in all five counties (Douglas, Pope, Grant, Stevens, Traverse), along with the enforcement of the Smoking Ban (Freedom to Breathe/Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act) in our licensed establishments in Douglas and Pope Counties.

Horizon Environmental health does not offer air testing or have air testing equipment available. If you own your own home and think you may have an indoor air quality issue, please visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s “Healthy Homes” at http://www.health.state.mn.us/topics/healthyhomes/ for more information.

For more information on the Freedom to Breathe/Minnesota Clean Indoor Air Act, visit the Minnesota Department of Health’s website at http://www.health.state.mn.us/divs/eh/indoorair/mciaa/ftb/index.html.

To make a complaint about smoking in a smoking prohibited area in Douglas County, contact Jessica Peterson, Health Education, Horizon Public Health, at jessicap@horizonph.org or contact her by phone 320-762-2926. In Pope County, contact Shelly Svec, Health Educator, Horizon Public Health at shellys@horizonph.org or contact her by phone at 320-634-7834.

Water Quality

Water quality is monitored by several different agencies in Minnesota.

Horizon Environmental Health does not offer water testing to individual homeowners. If you have concerns regarding water quality, please see the links listed below or contact us and we will assist you in finding the right resources.

Ordinances & Policies

“Horizon Environmental Health shall initially and annually license all establishments in Douglas and Pope Counties subject to licensing requirements as described in the delegation agreement between the Horizon Community Health Board and the MN Department of Health. No establishment may operate without a current, valid license. Upon recommendation from the Environmental Health Advisory Committee and prior to the annual license renewal cycle, the Horizon Community Health Board, with the consensus of the Douglas and Pope Counties Boards of Commissioners, shall establish license fees for the next calendar year.”

Annual Establishment Licensing Policy

“Horizon Environmental Health, in accordance with the current fully executed delegation agreement with the Minnesota Department of Health, shall inspect and license regulated establishments in Douglas and Pope Counties and enforce applicable laws to assure compliance with Minnesota Statutes, Chapters 144, 157, and 327 and Minnesota Rules, Chapters 4625, 4626, 4630, and 4717 and any successor statutes or rules under the scope of the delegation agreement.”

Inspection and Enforcement Policy