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Congress Memebers Send Letter to ACE & BOR Regarding Intake Diversion Project

 


Every federal legislator from 2 separate states, Montana and North Dakota, showed true leadership by working together regardless of state line’s or different political parties to protect their citizens and the endangered Pallid Sturgeon by mutually signing an official letter asking for the protection of the funding of the Fish Bypass and the protection of the Irrigation project.

We write about the recent decision of the U.S. District Court of Montana that enjoined construction at the Lower Yellowstone Irrigation Project and directed the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (ACE) and Bureau of Reclamation (BOR) to provide evidence of the benefits the project would provide to species prior to proceeding with construction. We urge ACE and BOR to address the concerns of the Court and conduct the necessary analyses in a timely manner to ensure this essential source of water for farmers, ranchers, and communities throughout much of northeastern Montana and northwestern North Dakota is not unduly disrupted.

This project is critical to close to four hundred farms and irrigates over 50,000 acres of cropland, and time is of the essence as winter is approaching and inclement weather could further damage existing infrastructure. If the agencies have not already done so, we urge ACE and BOR to develop and implement an interim plan to manage the existing intake dam should the project continue to be enjoined and the lawsuit moves throughout the judicial process. Additionally, we encourage ACE and BOR to provide assurances to Congress and stakeholders that funding currently allocated for this project will not be transferred or reduced while ACE and BOR conduct further analyses.

As ACE and BOR move forward in addressing the issues detailed by the Court in granting the injunction, we request ACE and BOR act in as expeditious a manner as possible. Thank you for your consideration, and we look forward to your prompt response and staying in close contact on this critically important issue.

Sincerely,

STEVE DAINES, United States Senator; JON TESTER, United States Senator; JOHN HOEVEN, United States Senator; HEIDI HEITKAMP, United States Senator; RYAN ZINKE, Member of Congress; KEVIN CRAMER, Member of Congress

 

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