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Published July 21 2010

Dorgan securing $20 million toward Red River diversion

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 told 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 Tuesday and will go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee later this week. Dorgan said he expects it to be approved without problem.

Among other funding for North Dakota projects, the bill also includes:Nanoscale Energy, Computationally Assisted Science and Technology, and Clean Energy Technology Research, as part of Red River Valley Research Corridor funding.

  • $275,000 for a Fargo water treatment plant study to evaluate alternatives necessary to treat increased sulfate levels, caused by additional water flowing into the Sheyenne River basin from the Devils Lake outlet.

  • $150,000 for a Sheyenne River basin study by the U.S. Army Corps of

  • $50 million for Garrison Diversion projects

  • $11 million split among the North Dakota State University centers for Engineers to determine flood control options in Valley City and elsewhere along the Sheyenne River.


    Readers can reach Forum reporter Kristen Daum at (701) 241-5541