Construction of the $2.75 billion Fargo-Moorhead Diversion may once again resume.
The F-M Diversion Authority announced Monday, April 8 that U.S. District Court Judge John A. Tunheim modified an injunction he placed. The modification allows all requested construction to proceed on the project, the Diversion Authority continued.
“With the Red River, Sheyenne and Maple Rivers all at flood stage, this is a very welcome ruling for our residents,” Board Chair and Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling said. “We hope this ruling addresses the concerns expressed by appropriators in Bismarck.”
Tunheim's ruling, the Diversion Authority stated, allows itself and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to:
• Commence the Public Private Partnership (P3) process for the Diversion Channel and Associated Infrastructure
• Manufacture components and start construction on the Diversion Inlet Structure
• Manufacture components and start construction on the Wild Rice River Structure
• Start construction of the Western Tieback
• Start non-construction design and mitigation work in North Dakota and Minnesota.
“We will comply with all permit requirements and will work together with regulatory entities to ensure this project protects our communities, the environment, and meets all local, state and federal laws,” Scherling said.
Litigation for and against the project has been ongoing for several years. The Richland-Wilkin Joint Powers Authority, representing Richland County, North Dakota, and Wilkin County, Minnesota, filed briefs against the construction.
"The motions to modify the injunction were based on the 2018 permit issued for the project by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR)," the Diversion Authority stated. "The Diversion Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and the DNR filed briefs supporting building the project due to public safety benefits it can provide."
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