FARGO - North Dakota Gov. Doug Burgum and Minnesota Gov. Mark Dayton plan to hold talks on the Fargo-Moorhead flood diversion, which was recently put on pause by a federal judge at the request of Minnesota regulators.
On Friday, Sept. 8, the day after Judge John R. Tunheim issued a preliminary injunction on the $2.2 billion flood-protection project, Dayton issued a statement inviting Burgum to discuss the project.
"I have reached out to speak very soon with Governor Burgum," Dayton said in the statement. "Our shared concern is for the safety and security of all the people living in the Red River Valley. Those efforts will benefit from a positive and productive working relationship between our two states."
Mike Nowatzki, Burgum's spokesman, said legal counsels for both governors are working out the details of the talks.
Asked if Dayton plans to bring up other issues affecting the two states, Sam Fettig, Dayton's spokesman, said he "would defer" to the governor's statement for now.
The two states came into conflict a few years ago after Minnesota banned the import of electricity from new out-of-state coal power plants and North Dakota filed suit. Federal courts sided with North Dakota.
Minnesota joined a suit filed by upstream diversion opponents against the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority and U.S. Army Corps of Engineers after work on the project began despite Minnesota regulators denying them a permit.