Minnesota DNR says diversion decision at least a month away

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FARGO, N.D. (AP) - The Minnesota Department of Natural Resources says its decision on issuing permits for the Red River diversion project in the Fargo-Moorhead area should happen in late December or early January.

The DNR in October 2016 denied a permit for the original project, leading a federal judge to stop construction that had started southwest of Fargo. The Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority sponsored a new design meant to reduce impacts to land in Richland County in North Dakota and Minnesota's Wilkin County.

The deadline for public comments on the DNR's environmental review of the changes ended Thursday. The DNR says in court filings that the comments are "voluminous" and should take about a month to review.

The $2.2 billion project would protect structures in Fargo-Moorhead in times of serious flooding.

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