The U.S. House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure has unanimously approved bipartisan water resources reform legislation that contains authorization for the Fargo-Moorhead Area Diversion Project. The Water Resources Reform and Development Act (WRRDA) is anticipated to receive a vote in the U.S. House in the next couple of months.

Through WRRDA, Congress authorizes the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to carry out its mission to support effective and targeted flood protection and environmental restoration needs, as well as develop, maintain, and support the nation’s vital port and waterways infrastructure needs.

With an estimated federal cost of $801,542,000 and an estimated non-federal cost of $979,806,000, the Diversion Project is not the most expensive of the five flood protection Projects listed in the legislation.

“Obviously, this is a significant step forward for the Diversion Project,” said Darrell Vanyo, Chairman of the Flood Diversion Board of Authority. “Members of the Diversion Authority were grateful to read that the Project was specifically listed within the bill. Authorization is a big step towards building infrastructure that will protect more than 200,000 people in the Fargo-Moorhead area from severe flooding.”

WRRDA also sets forth a process to remove the backlog of previously authorized projects. While the bill sets forth a process to authorize $10 billion in projects, it also deauthorizes $12 billion. Among a list of other reformed policies, the legislation also increases the stringency for projects to begin. For instance, after authorization, the Diversion Project would have seven years to begin construction or else it would also need to be reauthorized.

For more information on the House Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure’s passage of WWRDA, visit this webpage: http://transportation.house.gov/press-release/committee-passes-water-resources-reform-and-development-act-wrrda

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