U.S. District Court Judge John A. Tunheim modified the injunction to allow all requested construction to proceed on the FM Area Diversion Project.
The ruling was made after motions requesting modifications to the September 2017 injunction were filed earlier this year by the Diversion Board of Authority.
The motions to modify the injunction were based on the 2018 permit issued for the project by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources (DNR). The Diversion Authority, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps), and the DNR filed briefs supporting building the project due to public safety benefits it can provide. The Richland/Wilkin JPA previously filed briefs opposing commencement of construction.
The Court ruled to allow the Diversion Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to
- Commence the Public Private Partnership (P3) process for the Diversion Channel and Associated Infrastructure
- Manufacture components and start construction on the Diversion Inlet Structure
- Manufacture components and start construction on the Wild Rice River Structure
- Start construction of the Western Tieback
- Start non-construction design and mitigation work in North Dakota and Minnesota.
“With the Red River, Sheyenne and Maple Rivers all at flood stage, this is a very welcome ruling for our residents,” Board Chair and Cass County Commissioner Mary Scherling said. “We hope this ruling addresses the concerns expressed by appropriators in Bismarck.”.
“We will comply with all permit requirements and will work together with regulatory entities to ensure this project protects our communities, the environment, and meets all local, state and federal laws,” Scherling said.
“We have been diligently working with the DNR through this process to ensure that Minnesota citizens, its laws, and its environment are adequately protected,” said Kevin Campbell, Vice-Chair of the Diversion Authority and Clay County Commissioner. “Today was another step in the right direction.”