Sheryl Corrigan joined the Pawlenty administration in 2003. She had previously worked at 3M.
In a statement, the governor praised Corrigan for balancing the interests of business and the environment and credited her with helping pass legislation to reduce mercury emissions and clean polluted waters.
Corrigan's tenure at the MPCA was also marked by controversy. An agency scientist accused her of foot-dragging on investigations into contamination related to chemicals once made by 3M known as PFCs.
The claims led to a series of legislative hearings, as well as a lawsuit by the scientist, Fardin Oliaei, against Corrigan and the MPCA. Oliaei also claimed she was forced out of her state job. The governor's statement said Corrigan will be taking time off to be with her family before pursuing opportunities in the private sector.