New Ulm, Redwood Falls strike new phosphorus trading pact

NEW ULM– A new phosphorus trading agreement will require Redwood Falls to pay New Ulm Public Utilities $45,660 for phosphorus credits.

In 2016, New Ulm’s wastewater treatment facility entered into a trade agreement to sell phosphorus credits to Redwood Falls.

The Minnesota Pollution Control Agency allowed Redwood Falls to trade phosphorus credits with other cities to meet limits within their National Pollution Discharge Elimination System permit.

Cities are limited on how much phosphorus can be discharged into the Minnesota River. Redwood Falls has been unable to meet this permit limits, forcing the city to purchase credits from municipalities that can reach the limits.

New Ulm comes in significantly under its phosphorus limit and has supplied Redwood Falls with credits for the past six years.

Recently, the MPCA requested Redwood Falls update and amend the phosphorus trade agreement with the New Ulm Public Utilities. Redwood is receiving a new NPDES permit, and some of the phosphorus language changed in its MPCA permit, including the terms of the agreement with New Ulm.

The agreement would maintain the trade amount at 1,5222 kg of phosphorus annually. Redwood Falls will pay $30 per credit of phosphorus. The total cost is $45,660.

Utilities Director Kris Manderfeld said this arrangment will assist Redwood Falls. New Ulm has the option of terminating the agreement if the city ever sees an increased need.


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