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Associated Press , Published March 11 2013

Missouri governor applauds court ruling on ND pipeline

BISMARCK — Missouri Gov. Jay Nixon is applauding a federal judge's decision to stop pipeline construction on the Northwest Area Water Supply project in North Dakota.

The project is to bring Missouri River water to growing communities in northwestern North Dakota. But officials in Missouri fear it could deplete the river. The state has sued, as has the Canadian province of Manitoba. Officials there worry about the possible transfer of harmful organisms into their waters.

Judge Rosemary Collyer in Washington, D.C., had been allowing pipeline work to continue but says in her latest ruling that the work must stop until federal officials are done studying all aspects of the project that's been under construction since 2002.

Nixon says in a statement that the river is vital to Missouri and needs protection.

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