The Lower Minnesota River has a dissolved oxygen impairment. During low flows, excess phosphorus generates algal blooms. Eventually, the algae die off and decompose, and the decomposition process creates a shortage of the dissolved oxygen needed to sustain aquatic life.

In response to this impairment, the MPCA developed the Lower Minnesota River dissolved oxygen total maximum daily load (TMDL). The TMDL required the development of the Minnesota River Basin General Phosphorus Permit – Phase I.

The permit required the 40 larger existing continuously discharging wastewater treatment facilities in the basin to apply for coverage and receive a five-month mass phosphorus limit,  to ensure that there is no net increase of phosphorus discharged to the basin. The permit also requires that all new and expanding continuously discharging phosphorus dischargers (even if they are not a wastewater treatment facility) within the basin to apply for permit coverage. Stabilization ponds are subject to a different set of requirements. See the permit for details.

Permits and additions

This is the original permit issued on December 1, 2005. Appendix B of the permit lists the original 40 permittees.

Permit forms

Legal contract-to-trade forms for transfers of Jordan Trading Units

Permittees (i.e., those listed in Appendix B of the permit) have the option of buying or selling phosphorus credits according to the terms of the permit. Permittees may trade facility to facility (one buyer and one seller) or trade through a Trade Association (multiple facilities trading with an aggregate limit). In order to implement a trade, the trading partners must fill-out, sign and submit the appropriate trade form. Additional forms related to trade associations are available upon request.

Other forms

Annual compliance report forms

Facilities listed in Appendix B of the Minnesota River Basin General Phosphorus Permit are required to submit an annual compliance report unless they have received an exclusion from their five-month mass phosphorus limit.