Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Management Project
Scoping Documents Available for Public Review and Comment
The DNR is seeking public comments on the scoping documents for an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) that will describe the potential environmental effects of the flood risk management project (Project) in the Fargo-Moorhead metropolitan area. These documents provide information about the topics that are proposed to be included in the EIS for the Project. This EIS is separate from the federal environmental review process administered by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) and has its own procedural steps and opportunities for public input. The DNR will consider public comments before finalizing the scope of topics to be included in the State EIS.
- Figure 1 - Project Location Map
- Figure 2 - USGS Quadrangle Map
- Figure 3 - Project Plan
- Figure 4 - Project Features at Staging Area
- Figure 5 - Control Structure Concept at Red and Wild Rice Rivers
- Figure 6 - Maple River Hydraulic Structure Overview
- Figure 7 - Maple River Hydraulic Structure Concept
- Figure 8 - 10% Event Staging Area Flood Outline
- Figure 9 - 5% Event Staging Area Flood Outline
- Figure 10 - 2% Event Staging Area Flood Outline
- Figure 11 - 1% Event Staging Area Flood Outline
- Figure 12 - In Town Levee Locations
A 30-day public review and comment period begins April 15, 2013. The DNR invites public comments during the April 15-May 15, 2013, public review period.
The DNR will hold a public information meeting Wednesday, May 8, 5:30-10:00 p.m., at the Courtyard by Marriott Fargo Moorhead & Moorhead Area Conference Center, 1080 28th Avenue South, Moorhead, MN. The meeting will offer an open house from 5:30 to 7 p.m. to provide informational materials and answer questions about the project and the scoping process. Formal presentations will begin at 7 p.m. followed by a public input session. The DNR recognizes that public participation is a valuable aspect of the environmental review process because it leads to better decision making.
The scoping documents include a Scoping Environmental Assessment Worksheet and a Draft Scoping Decision Document. Comments on the scoping documents will be accepted until 4:30 p.m. May 15, 2013. The DNR will respond to comments when it issues a Final Scoping Decision Document. That document determines what will be included in the State EIS. The most helpful comments are those that directly address the content of the scoping documents and offer specific suggestions for inclusion in the scope of the State EIS. The DNR will then prepare a Draft EIS that will be made available for public comment and another public information meeting will be held during that comment period.
Written comments can be submitted by mail to Stuart Arkley, DNR Ecological and Water Resources Division, 500 Lafayette Road, St. Paul, MN 55155-4025, faxed to 651-296-1811 or emailed to email@example.com. Email comments should include "Fargo Moorhead" in the subject line and a name and mailing address so future notices and documents can be provided.
The Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan area is located within the area from approximately 12 miles west to 5 miles east of the Red River and from 20 miles north to 20 miles south of Interstate Highway 94.
This area has a high risk of flooding. The Red River, Wild Rice River (N.D.), Sheyenne River, Maple River, Lower Rush River and the Rush River all contribute to the flood risk. Average annual national economic flood damages in the metropolitan area are estimated to be more than $194.8 million, and a failure of emergency flood measures could result in loss of life.
Flooding in Fargo-Moorhead typically occurs in late March and early April as a result of spring snowmelt. Flooding poses a significant risk of damage to urban and rural infrastructure and disrupts transportation throughout the metropolitan area. The Fargo-Moorhead area is a regional center for healthcare, education, government, and commerce. Infrastructure at risk in the Fargo-Moorhead area includes several Regional medical centers, three college campuses, and city and county government headquarters offices.
The stated purpose of the Project is to "reduce flood risk, flood damages and flood protection costs related to flooding in the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area."
As proposed by the Fargo-Moorhead Metro Diversion Board of Authority, the Project design features include, but are not limited to, a 30-mile long diversion channel, a 6-mile long connecting channel, 12 miles of tie-back embankments, 4 miles of overflow embankment, levee/floodwall features in Fargo, North Dakota and Moorhead, Minnesota. Operation of the constructed features would raise flood stages on approximately 33,000-acres within a 60-square mile (38,400-acre) staging area. Flows would be controlled via two hydraulic structures, one on the Red River and one on the Wild Rice River. The hydraulic structure on the Red River would require a Dam Safety permit from the DNR. The Wild Rice River structure would be located in North Dakota and not subject to Minnesota permit requirements.
The DNR has determined that the proposed water control structure on the Red River would be classified as a Class I Dam under the State's Dam Safety permitting rules (MN Rules part 6115.0340). Therefore, the DNR must produce an Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) for the proposed project as required by MN Rules part 4410.4400, subpart 18. The State will use the EIS to assess the potential for significant environmental impacts from the Fargo-Moorhead Metropolitan Area Flood Risk Reduction Project (Project). An environmental analysis and project alternatives analysis will be performed in accordance with the Minnesota Environmental Policy Act (MEPA). The Project would need a DNR Dam Safety permit prior to construction. The DNR will utilize the USACE documentation to the extent practicable during the State's environmental review process.
Note: The following links are to external sites. They are not maintained by the DNR and the content is not verified by the DNR.
Background information about the federal EIS and federal feasibility study can be found on the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers Web site.
The Flood Diversion Board of Authority consists of the cities of Fargo, ND and Moorhead, MN, along with Cass County, ND, Clay County, MN, the Cass County Joint Water Resources District, and the Buffalo-Red River Watershed District. The Diversion Authority and its members worked with the USACE on the federal EIS and Feasibility Study and they continue to work with the Minnesota DNR in developing information for the State EIS. They maintain a Web site with Diversion Authority information and some information from the federal EIS process.
Questions regarding the State EIS can be sent to:
Stuart Arkley, EIS Project Manager
Environmental Review Unit
Division of Ecological and Water Resources
500 Lafayette Road
Saint Paul, Minnesota 55155-4025
Or by email to: EnvironmentalRev.Dnr@state.mn.us (include "Fargo Moorhead" in the subject line)