Since the Diversion Authority declined to consider a more modest project alternative, the only options included for consideration in the permit application were the “No Action” and “No Action with Emergency Measures” alternatives. This left the DNR with two choices: 1) permit the project or 2) deny the project.
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources DENIES Fargo Dam and FM Diversion Authority (FMDA) permit.
Despite Lieutenant General Semonite’s unfounded representation to the contrary, Minnesota has not “come together” with the Army Corps of Engineers and the State of North Dakota to advance the proposed project. In all my years of public service at the state and federal levels, I have never seen such a complete disregard for the process of a co-regulator.
Given that we were not consulted as part of this process and further that we are not able to see the basis for your determination, I believe it is essential to be on the record directly with you regarding the real and significant regulatory issues that are outstanding in Minnesota concerning the proposed Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Project.
The Final EIS will be available for a 10-day public comment period, from May 16, 2016 to May 31, 2016. The DNR must receive comments no later than 4:30 pm, May 31.
It would be interesting to find out if the law firms representing their clients on the Minnesota side are willing to guarantee their legal advice (cover clients losses), should that lead to a decision to move forward with the new JPA agreement that proves to be against Minnesota law and the interests of landowners.
Kent Lokkesmoe, Administrator, Management Resources Bureau, DNR, the BRRWD must not vote on the DA Budget until the EIS has been completed. Lokkesmoe added that the BRRWD could approve funding for the DNR’s EIS and Fargo in-town projects, but to approve anything more in the 2015 Budget could affect the DNR-BRRWD working relationship.
With the condition of completion of the levees in Fargo, we do have time to put together a better plan that has benefits for more people, communities, and property. We also can meld together the natural resource benefits attributable to better soil and water management practices.
The MN DNR will also be hosting an open house and informational meeting to further explain the process: October 14, 2015 (5p-10p) Marriott Courtyard, Moorhead, MN.
It is simply not true that managers of the Buffalo Red Watershed District have an obligation to support or implement this plan. In fact, it is completely improper for a Minnesota governmental entity to be moving forward with this plan, because the Minnesota environmental review has not yet been concluded, and necessary permits have not been issued.