Opponents of a $1.8 billion Red River flood diversion for Fargo-Moorhead are challenging the project in court.
The federal lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers asks for a review of the project to reduce the impact on landowners. During a flood, the project would channel water around Fargo-Moorhead, sending it overland, and that would cover small towns and thousands of acres of farmland.
Perry Miller is a Richland County North Dakota commissioner who chairs a group opposing the diversion.
"We've been presented with in our opinion, an unreasonable choice. Here are your two choices. One is this massive two billion dollar project. The other alternative is we just can't do anything for Fargo. Those are your two alternatives. And we're not buying it. We're saying there's something in between that's more reasonable," Miller said.
The diversion has not yet been authorized or received funding from Congress. The Minnesota Department of Public Resources is still working on an environmental review of the project.
"Hopefully this puts the Corps on notice that we're serious and they need to go back to the drawing board and look at this project and see what they can do to eliminate so many adverse effects to the upstream folks," said Nathan Berseth, also part of the group opposing the project.
A U.S. Army Corps of Engineers spokesperson says the agency does not comment on pending litigation.