ST. PAUL, Minn. – The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, supports the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources efforts to scope and prepare a state Environmental Impact Statement for the proposed Fargo, N.D./Moorhead, Minn., flood diversion project.
The Minnesota DNR determined that part of the proposed diversion project, a water control structure on the Red River, would be classified as a Class I Dam under Minnesota’s dam safety permitting rules. The state EIS will develop the information needed to support the DNR’s permitting decision.
“The Corps understands that in order to permit the construction of a new Class I dam, the Minnesota DNR must determine that there are no other alternatives that would meet the project purpose,” said Col. Michael J. Price, commander of the Corps’ St. Paul District.
The Corps considered and evaluated a wide range of alternatives in the federal EIS published in July 2011. “The Corps is confident that the diversion project, including a Class I dam, is the only viable option for permanent large-scale flood risk reduction for the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area,” Price added.
The Corps is simultaneously preparing a supplemental Environmental Assessment to document changes made to the diversion plan since the federal EIS was completed. The supplemental EA will be available this summer for public review and comment in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act.
The Corps will continue to provide information and assistance to the Diversion Authority and the Minnesota DNR to facilitate the state’s EIS process. In an effort to remain transparent and open about the planning process, the Corps and DNR have agreed to coordinate public communication in a way that minimizes confusion between the goals and content of the state and federal environmental documents to be made available for public review.
For more information, the Minnesota DNR scoping documents are available at: http://www.dnr.state.mn.us/input/environmentalreview/fm_flood_risk/index.html.
The nearly 700 U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, St. Paul District, employees working at more than 40 sites in five upper-Midwest states serve the American public in the areas of environmental enhancement, navigation, flood damage reduction, water and wetlands regulation, recreation sites and disaster response. Through the Corps’ Fiscal Year 2011 $175 million budget, nearly 2,800 non-Corps jobs were added to the regional economy as well as $271 million to the national economy. For more information, see www.mvp.usace.army.mil.