At the Jan. 9 Diversion Authority (DA) meeting, the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR) explained the legal requirements that the state of Minnesota must comply with in order to approve projects of this scope. Mr. Keith Berndt then chided the DNR by his comments on the delay he felt the DNR may incur to the project and the monthly costs incurred by the delay complying with the required DNR review process. He implied the fulfilling of the DNR/MN requirements may delay completion of the project increasing the flood risk.
There is something Mr. Berndt has omitted. The DNR commented, in the Final Feasibility Report and Environmental Impact Statement, July 2011 “Portions of past DNR correspondence remain relevant as many concerns remain unaddressed.” This is but one of the many instances where the concerns of the DNR were neglected more than once. And now it is the fault of the DNR?
Now Mr. Berndt sought to put the blame on DNR for delays that could have been resolved by the Corps of Engineers (COE) and DA working with the DNR. They apparently did not notice or ignored the concerns of the Minnesota DNR. Just as Mayor Walaker blames the upstream citizens if the project is not approved. The old putting the blame on the victim or in this case, the one who is required to follow the state law.
Mr Berndt neglected to address the delay incurred by the lack of inclusion of the larger community in the planning process that led to the plan selected by the Diversion Authority. “This my way or the highway” attitude has potentially delayed the resolution of issues in the FM Dam proposal.
The Diversion Authority and the Corps of Engineers are continuing to attempt to deceive the public. Flood protection for Fargo will be achieved by the 42.5 foot levees. This is protection for Fargo. The removal of the flood plain from flood plain regulations is just protection of the developers’ hoped for profit.
I have to ask again, “Have they read the FEIS…?”