The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources has asked a federal court to recognize Minnesota's authority over the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion project.
Kent Lokkesmoe the department's director of capital investment, said its friend-of-the-court brief asking a federal judge to clarify Minnesota's regulatory authority. He said state officials rejects the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority's position that Minnesota is prohibited from interfering in the $1.8 billion project.
"They're saying that it was congressionally authorized, the state of Minnesota has no jurisdiction [and] the federal authorization pre-empts local authority," he said.
Lokkesmoe said the state has successfully required DNR permits for numerous federal flood control projects that affect Minnesota rivers.
DNR officials are working on an environmental assessment of the diversion project due early next year. But the Fargo-Moorhead authority officials say the project, which still awaits federal funding, can go ahead without DNR approval.
"Essentially [they're] saying that Minnesota does not have any permit authority over the project and over impacts to public waters in Minnesota," Lokkesmoe said.