BISMARCK, N.D. – Gov. Doug Burgum today released the following statement after the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) published the draft supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project.
“We commend Minnesota DNR staff for their tireless efforts in preparing this draft statement, which builds on the strong work of the F-M Area Flood Diversion Task Force that Gov. Dayton and I formed last fall,” Burgum said. “The DNR’s rigorous and thorough analysis of 33 alternatives underscores their commitment to protecting the Fargo-Moorhead area from catastrophic flooding. Working together, our two states can reach a solution that balances project impacts with the critical need to safeguard the region’s largest population center and economic engine, and the Plan B alternative is the most viable solution to provide permanent protection for the metro area.”
A copy of the DNR’s draft supplemental EIS is posted online here. The DNR is accepting public comment through 4:30 p.m. Sept. 27, 2018.
Burgum and Dayton agreed in October to create and co-chair the Task Force to try to address the DNR’s concerns about the diversion project. Construction on the project began in spring 2017, but a federal judge approved a temporary injunction on Sept. 7, 2017, ordering work to stop. The ruling recognized the need for permanent flood protection for Fargo-Moorhead and strongly encouraged all parties to work together to agree on a project that can serve the interests of both states and the affected communities.
The F-M Diversion Board of Authority submitted a revised permit application for the diversion project in March after accepting the Task Force’s recommendations. Because the new alternative hadn’t been evaluated in the DNR’s previous final EIS, Minnesota law required the DNR to prepare a supplemental EIS.