Dayton Sends Letter to Army Urging Diversion Delay - Valley News Live - KVLY/KXJB - Fargo/Grand Forks

Dayton Sends Letter to Army Urging Diversion Delay

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Minnesota Governor Mark Dayton is continuing efforts to try and slow down the Red River Diversion project.

In a letter to Assistant Secretary of the Army Jo-Ellen Darcy, Dayton asks the Army Corps of Engineers to stop all federal efforts for the diversion until the Minnesota DNR can finish an Environmental Impact Statement.

Dayton told the Corps of Engineers "it is unacceptable that federal funding should be appropriated for the Fargo-Moorhead Project, or that construction should be allowed to begin prior to completion of Minnesota's environmental review."

The letter says Dayton has serious concerns about the Diversion and wants the Pentagon to stop endorsing federal funding, issuing federal permits, and providing construction assistance to the Diversion Authority

"Much of the land in the staging area has not previously been flooded, even in the worst floods of record. Since Moorhead is currently protected to the 42-foot river stage, less than 10% of the Project's benefits will accrue to Minnesota. The Fargo area will receive over 90% of the Project's benefits, including the protection for future economic development of an undeveloped flood plain on the south side of Fargo. In fact, a major feature of the Project's design
appears to be the flooding of Minnesota (and North Dakota) farmland in order to assure North Dakota developers that their investments will be safeguarded," Dayton wrote.

Dayton closed his letter by saying "This is a long-term project, which will have lasting impacts. It is essential that established laws and processes be followed to assess those impacts."

Dayton and other Minnesota officials have been upset with the Diversion Authority over it's decision to start work on Ring Dikes for the Oxbow area before an environmental impact study can be finished.

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