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Published July 20 2010

Dorgan securing $20 million toward construction of Red River diversion

WASHINGTON - North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan says he has secured an initial $20 million in the next energy and water appropriations bill toward construction of the proposed Red River Diversion.

Dorgan, who is chairman of the energy and water subcommittee, said the money is contingent on top Army Corps of Engineers officials’ authorization of the nearly $1.5 billion project, which is expected toward the end of this year.

“It’ll be the first increment of funding for the project,” Dorgan said in an interview this afternoon with The Forum. “I wanted to have the first down payment available for the project when it is done to give it a good start.”

Also included in the appropriations bill is the $15 million that President Barack Obama requested to help pay for the front-end engineering and design for the project’s study, Dorgan said.

The appropriations bill containing the funding was voted out of Dorgan’s subcommittee today and will go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. Dorgan said he expects it to be approved without problem.