If the North Dakota (LPP) removes additional land from the natural flood plain compared to the Minnesota (FCP) why is the USACE relying on Executive Order 11988 as an excuse to not consider the southern and western alignments?
The USACE inconsistently applied EO 11988 as a result of “goal driven” findings pursuant to criteria set by the non-federal sponsor of Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN.
The current LPP ignores EO-11988 and relocates over 30+ square miles of natural flood plain for future development that benefits Fargo, ND while simultaneously destroying upstream communities and farming operations. However, the USACE denies West Fargo, ND 9.2 square miles of future development by adhering to EO-11988.
Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN hired the USACE to study possible solutions to reduce flood risk in the Fargo Moorhead metropolitan area. The initial scoping study did not include the entire Red River Valley region, and the studies mainly focused on flood and economic impacts within the metropolitan area.
The preliminary screening results, released in October 2009, indicated that the most cost-effective plan would likely be a diversion on the Minnesota side, but further study was needed to determine the optimal capacity. The nonfederal sponsors requested that two North Dakota diversion plans with capacities of 30,000 and 35,000 cubic feet per second (cfs) and a 35,000 cfs Minnesota diversion plan be retained as potential locally preferred plans.
The current LPP Locally Preferred Plan does not meet the 30,000 or 35,000 capacities requested by the non-federal sponsors, destroys the communities of Bakke ND, Hickson ND and Oxbow ND, causes severe financial impact to agricultural operations, impacts 112 square miles of natural flood plain and increases the project cost by over $546 million.
The USACE aligned its goals and findings with the non-federal sponsors that directly and indirectly fosters development of the natural flood plains adjacent to Fargo, ND.