Minnesota Judge Dismisses Court Case after BRRWD Approves Permit for FM Area Diversion Project

(December 07, 2020) – The FM Area Diversion Authority received a permit from the Buffalo Red River Watershed District (BRRWD) on October 26, 2020 and pursuant to the Binding Term Sheet (settlement agreement) the appeal of the previous permit denial was dismissed on November 24, 2020 in Becker County District Court.

“This is another positive step forward for the Project and for our partnership with stakeholders like the Buffalo Red River Watershed District,” Executive Director Joel Paulsen said. “The permit from the Buffalo Red is an important piece of the puzzle and we are glad to be at the table working on issues important to Buffalo Red River Watershed District instead of being in the courtroom.”

The case was initially filed by the Diversion Authority earlier this year when a permit from the BRRWD was denied. Last month, Judge Michael D. Fritz dismissed the case with prejudice in Becker County District Court after a settlement agreement was signed by the Diversion Authority and upstream stakeholders, including the BRRWD. The settlement agreement paved the way for efforts to dismiss all litigation regarding permit decisions for the Project.

“We are continuing to work with the other parties to dismiss all remaining litigation and that will mean we are proceeding full steam ahead in 2021,” Paulsen added. “Resolving these cases means we can have constructive and productive conversations with all stakeholders and move forward together.”