Obama signs bill authorizing F-M diversion projectIt’s official: President Obama today signed bipartisan legislation authorizing the $1.8 billion diversion project designed to protect Fargo-Moorhead from a devastating flood.
By: Patrick Springer , Forum News Service
FARGO, N.D. — It’s official: President Obama today signed bipartisan legislation authorizing the $1.8 billion diversion project designed to protect Fargo-Moorhead from a devastating flood.
Authorization came with the president’s signature on the Water Resources Reform and Development Act, which also blocks the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers from charging a fee to use surplus water from the Missouri River reservoirs, including Lake Sakakawea and Lake Oahe.
“It has taken more than a year, but we finally secured permanent flood protection for North Dakotans around Fargo and prevented the Army Corps from charging for water at Lake Sakawea,” Sen. Heidi Heitkamp, D-N.D., said in a statement.
Heitkamp secured an invitation to the bill signing for Fargo Mayor Dennis Walaker, who joined Obama for the ceremony.
Authorization for the project does not include appropriations, which still must be approved by Congress to move the diversion forward.
“Now we need to come together to get the diversion built to protect our communities from the devastating consequences of future floods while also addressing the upstream impacts,” Heitkamp said, crediting Walaker’s efforts.
The water projects authorization bill was supported by the North Dakota and Minnesota congressional delegations.