- Associated Press - Friday, August 21, 2015

BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) - The U.S. Bureau of Reclamation has finished its environmental review of the long-delayed Northwest Area Water Supply project in North Dakota.

U.S. Sen. John Hoeven says the bureau on Friday signed its record of decision. The step comes four months after the agency released its final environmental study, which called for more stringent water treatment, increasing the project cost from $207 million to $244 million.

NAWS is designed to bring Missouri River water to residents of northwestern North Dakota. It was first authorized by Congress nearly three decades ago, but the state of Missouri and the Canadian province of Manitoba have fought it in court because of water quality and depletion concerns.

The bureau’s record of decision will be submitted to the federal judge overseeing the case.

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