State environmental group wants in on Red River diversion appeal

Published 9:46 am Monday, August 15, 2016

FARGO, N.D. — A Minnesota environmental group says it wants to testify in an appeal filed by opponents of a Red River diversion project around the Fargo metropolitan area.

The Richland-Wilkin Joint Power Authority is appealing a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources declaration that the project meets all legal requirements. The ruling has allowed diversion proponents to seek permits for the $2.1 billion project.

The opposition group represents about 20 upstream cities and townships in North Dakota and Minnesota. It wants the U.S Army Corps of Engineers to come up with a cheaper project that doesn’t flood farmland.

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The Minnesota Center for Environmental Advocacy says it believes the DNR decision was “arbitrary and capricious” and eliminated alternatives that are more reasonable.