The Diversion Authority is seeking approval from the U.S. District Court of Minnesota to continue construction of flood protection systems for the cities of Fargo and Oxbow, ND.
The request for a partial lifting of the injunction from Chief Judge John Tunheim comes on the heels of a new permit application for the FM Area Diversion Project submitted to the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) following months of meetings and collaboration. In the communications between the Diversion Authority and the MDNR, the MDNR has stated it has no objection to completion of the limited work being requested.
The FM Diversion Project is currently under a temporary injunction, but the Court’s ruling from last September indicated, “If portions of the Project construction have no impact on Minnesota’s waterways, the Court will consider requests to allow that construction to go forward.” The work that is included in the request to the Court includes construction of a levee and lift station near downtown Fargo, and to resume construction in Oxbow on infrastructure that had previously been agreed to through a Court order in April 2017. Both projects are integral to improving the flood protection for each community. Neither of these two items impact Minnesota’s waterways.
“I have always found there is an understanding and appreciation of the flood threat facing our community. As we continue to make progress on a comprehensive solution, it only makes sense to move forward where we can as consensus emerges,” said Moorhead Mayor and Diversion Authority Chair Del Rae Williams. “These are projects that we need to work on with or without the Diversion project in place.”