Resource: Pollution Trading Permit & Biomass Energy
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Title: Pollution Trading Permit & Biomass Energy
Resource type: Case study
Topics: Agriculture, Business, Energy, Water
Keywords: Rahr, Minnesota River, market-based, non-point, run-off
Audience: All
Region: Twin Cities
Summary: Rahr Malting increased nitrogen pollutant discharges from their plant but more than offset that increased pollution by more cheaply decreasing nitrogen pollution from surrounding farmland through improved farming practices.
Content: On January 8, 1997, the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency (MPCA) issued Minnesota's Rahr Malting Company a water pollution permit for this pollution trading. This permit was one of the first in the nation and the first in Minnesota to include the concept of point/non-point pollution trading.

The permit also broke new ground in that a statewide environmental group, the Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy (MCEA - ), was an active partner with Rahr and the MPCA in negotiating the permit's terms. Others involved included EPA - Region 5, HDR Engineering/North American Wetland Engineering, the Coalition for a Clean Minnesota River and the City of New Ulm.

Rahr Malting continued its innovative business operations during 2004 through a biomass energy plant joint venture with the Mdewakaton Sioux community. This Koda Power Plant project in Shakopee will produce 10 - 15 megawatts of electricity yearly (enough to supply over 4,000 homes) and 125 million BTUs of heat per hour (enough to heat 11,000 homes) by burning biomass such as barley residues (a byproduct of the malting process), oat hulls, switchgrass, and sawdust/wood waste.

See below for the company's web site.

Suggested by: Philipp Muessig
Added: 01/4/01
Updated: 07/27/11