EO-11988: Federal agencies are required to avoid to the extent possible the long and short term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains and to avoid direct and indirect support of floodplain development wherever there is a practicable alternative.
The USACE and the non-federal sponsor of Fargo Moorhead are required to:
(1) Avoid long-term and short-term adverse impacts associated with the occupancy and modification of floodplains and the destruction and modification of wetlands;
The LPP proposed in the July 2011 FEIS (September 2011 release) creates both short and long term adverse impacts by directly and in-directly fostering occupancy and modification of the natural flood plain(s) south and north of the metro area.
(2) Avoid direct and indirect support of floodplain development and new construction in wetlands wherever there is a practicable alternative;
Several practical alternatives were presented and disregarded. Other practical alternatives were not studied. The Value Engineering team presented two Value Engineering studies that contain conflicting results and preponderance of data sought after to rationalize the desired LPP.
(3) Reduce the risk of flood loss;
The LPP proposed in the July 2011 FEIS does not reduce the risk of flood loss. It relocates and concentrates the flood threat which will cause transverse flooding into areas that do not normally flood.
In addition, the proposed project creates an intolerable flood risk calling for the intentional destruction of Oxbow, Bakke and Hickson, ND.
(4) Promote the use of nonstructural flood protection methods to reduce the risk of flood loss;
The LPP proposed in the July 2011 FEIS requires several physical structures to cross 5 rivers. The include 2 high risk dams, 4 aqueducts, weirs, drop structures and fish passages.
(5) Minimize the impact of floods on human health, safety and welfare;
The proposed LPP will induce flooding into areas with a previous history of little to no flooding. This will place property owners and residents safety in jeopardy.
Severe impacts to welfare and social fabric will be caused by the intentional destruction of Oxbow, Bakke and Hickson, ND. Additional impacts include dislocation of several generational farming operations, impacts to Christine, ND and Comstock and Wolverton, MN.
Kindred School District and Richland Colfax School District will also suffer losses caused by dislocation of population.
(6) Minimize the destruction, loss or degradation of wetlands;
The July 2011 FEIS indicates that a ND placed dam and diversion would impact 1053 5o 1153 acres of wetlands, whereas MN placement of the FCP could impact approximately 976 acres of wetlands. Locating the dam and diversion structure in North Dakota increase the loss of America’s diminishing wetlands.
(7) Restore and preserve the natural and beneficial values served by floodplains;
The proposed LPP will prevent the natural operation and realized benefits offered by the floodplains North and South of the metro area to accommodate land developers and Fargo’s current future plans of urban expansion.
(8) Preserve and enhance the natural values of wetlands;
The proposed LPP will destroy the natural operation and realized benefits offered by the floodplains North and South of the metro area to accommodate land developers and Fargo’s current future plans of urban expansion.
(9) Involve the public throughout the floodplain management and wetlands protection decision-making process;
The USACE has not engaged, as participants, property owners impacted by the proposed LPP. Public meetings have been generally superficial and unilateral, with little to no action items created for resolution of concerns and adverse impacts.
(10) Adhere to the objectives of the Unified National Program for Floodplain Management;
The USACE and non-federal sponsors of Fargo and Moorhead have disregarded one of the primary goals of Floodplain Management, which is to prevent uncontrolled development and use of flood-prone lands that could result in an unacceptable loss of life and property. All structures located in the natural floodplains(s) north and south of the metro area will remain at a higher risk of flooding due to spring run-off or heavy rainfall events relating to the lower “natural” elevation of the properties.
The current LPP causes significant impact to the natural flood plain:
FM area geographic footprint:
88.64 sq miles, “pre” project
261 sq miles, “post” project
The current LPP proposes to:
• displace over 1,000 taxpayers in 3 communities,
• impact historical structures,
• disturb natural wildlife habitat,
• financially impact 3 school districts,
• displace several farming operations and,
• relocate flood water from the natural flood plain into new areas in four counties.