The Diversion Board of Authority has released the following statements regarding the permit decision for the project by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR).
“This decision by the DNR comes after more than year of hard work by so many individuals. We owe a debt of gratitude to Governor Dayton, and to Governor Burgum, for their leadership in bringing the different parties together and giving us a path forward that led to today’s decision,” said Board Chair Del Rae Williams, Mayor of Moorhead. “We know our work has really only just begun. It is up to the Diversion Authority to now review the permit conditions and begin on the next steps to implement the project, which includes working with the DNR and the upstream entities to resolve the ongoing litigation.”
The permit decision is available on the DNR’s website. The decision was one of the main goals of the Governors’ Task Force that began meeting at the end of 2017.
“The staff and leadership at the DNR worked hard on their review. I want to thank them for their focus on this and we look forward to working with them in the future,” said Williams.
“This is a major milestone for the project, but we still have a long way before we cross the finish line,” Board Vice-Chair and Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling noted. “This project is critically important for our citizens, economy, and the future of the Red River Valley. As the incoming Chair in 2019, my top priority will be making sure those who own the impacted lands we need to acquire are treated respectfully, fairly, and are properly compensated.”
“This is a big day for Cass County and we are excited to get back to work on making threats from flooding a thing of the past,” she added.
“The citizens of Fargo have consistently put flood protection as one of their top priorities and have done their part in approving three sales taxes to fund the largest share of the project. It has been our job to design the best project and receive approvals through the federal and state regulatory process. Today’s decision by the DNR, and previous decisions by the State of North Dakota and the Army Corps, allow us to move closer towards implementation,” said Mayor Timothy Mahoney, City of Fargo. “We look forward to working with our federal and state partners to the remaining funding commitments needed for the project. Today was a momentous occasion.”
“The DNR’s thorough environmental review of 33 alternatives and its robust permit application process has put the project on firmer ground and our relationships with both states have never been stronger,” Mahoney added.
For more information about the FM Area Diversion Project visit www.fmdiversion.gov.