- Associated Press - Friday, January 13, 2017

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - A federal judge has approved a request by the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources to join a lawsuit that seeks to halt construction of a Red River diversion project in the Fargo and Moorhead, Minnesota area.

The DNR says it was forced into court when the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers announced plans to start on the first phase of the project, even though the agency refused to issue permits. A dam that would hold back water in times of serious flooding would inundate property in North Dakota and Minnesota.

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim on Friday rejected an argument by the diversion authority that the DNR’s motion came too late in the three-year-old lawsuit. The suit seeks a cheaper plan that does not flood farmland.

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