Hoeven Advances Flood Protection for Red River Valley, Flood Study for Minot Region

WASHINGTON – Senator John Hoeven this week advanced flood protection for the Red River Valley and a flood study for the Minot region and secured support for the projects in meetings with Assistant Secretary of the Army for Civil Works Jo-Ellen Darcy, Army Corps Chief of Engineers Lieutenant General Thomas P. Bostick and Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Shaun Donovan.

“We made good progress this week advancing flood protections for the Red River Valley and the Minot region,” said Hoeven. “The Corps and OMB are working with us and supportive of the flood protection study for Minot and the public-private partnership project in Fargo-Moorhead. Now, we need continue working to pass the FY16 Energy and Water funding bill to ensure that the Corps receives the authorities and funding necessary to move these projects forward. As I stressed to the Corps and OMB, investing in permanent flood protections is more cost effective than responding to a flood event and will help provide greater peace of mind for these communities.”

Army Corps of Engineers

Hoeven met with Darcy and Bostick and secured their support for advancing the Fargo Moorhead permanent flood protection project into the construction phase with financing through a public-private partnership (P3). The senator emphasized that this approach will help expedite construction, leverage private investment and reduce costs to the federal government by half, from $900 to an estimated $450 million.

Hoeven also secured support from the Corps’ leaders for initiating a feasibility study for the Minot region, so the Corps can aid the city in developing a comprehensive, multi-phase flood protection project for the Minot region.

In September, Hoeven hosted Bostick at meetings with federal, state and local officials from the Fargo and Minot regions. The senator showed the Corps chief firsthand the importance of permanent flood control for the Fargo Moorhead region and implementing comprehensive flood protections for Minot and Ward County. Hoeven first invited Bostick to Fargo during a hearing of the Senate Appropriations Committee on Energy and Water.

OMB Director Shaun Donovan

Hoeven followed up with OMB Director Donovan to urge support for the Minot and Fargo projects, which will require signoff from OMB to move forward. Donovan said he is supportive of the projects subject to the resolution of the DNR and the lawsuit to address upstream concerns regarding the Fargo-Moorhead project, as well as the passage of Energy and Water Appropriations bill that includes new starts and funding for the Corps. 

As a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, Hoeven continues working to pass the Energy and Water bill that provides the Corps with permission to start new construction on permanent flood protection projects with an emphasis on P3 projects, like Fargo-Moorhead’s, and to secure permission for the Corps to fund studies for permanent flood protection, which is vital for communities like Minot and the Souris River Valley to develop and build comprehensive flood protection.