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Diversion Authority Statement on the Permit Decision by the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District

The Diversion Board of Authority released the following statements regarding the decision by the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) to deny a permit for the FM Area Diversion Project. The BRRWD voted June 24, 2019 to deny a permit for work within the Watershed.

“We are confident that our permit application complied with all the rules the Watershed District set for itself. We worked with the Watershed District for months on the conditions in order to address their concerns, which makes their denial of the permit perplexing,” said Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling, Chair of the Diversion Authority. “The Watershed District’s action appears to conflict with the earlier Order by the DNR Commissioner allowing for reasonable local conditions consistent with Minnesota law, so we are conferring with counsel on the appropriate next steps.”

The Diversion Authority applied for a permit in January for work within the BRRWD. After months of coordination with the Diversion Authority, the Army Corps, and the Minnesota DNR, the BRRWD released draft permit conditions. All draft permit conditions are workable within the project previously approved by the Minnesota DNR. The BRRWD requested an extension to act on the permit through June 28, 2019, which had been granted by the Diversion Authority.

“All planned construction on the Diversion Project for this year is moving forward and is not impacted by the actions by the Watershed. The Project is still critical to the people of Cass and Clay Counties, and will get built,” said Scherling.