FARGO – North Dakota Sen. Byron Dorgan says he has secured an initial $20 million in the next energy and water appropriations bill toward construction of the proposed Red River Diversion.
Dorgan, who is chairman of the energy and water subcommittee, said the money is contingent on top Army Corps of Engineers officials’ authorization of the nearly $1.5 billion project, which is expected toward the end of this year.
“It’ll be the first increment of funding for the project,” Dorgan said in an interview this afternoon with The Forum. “I wanted to have the first down payment available for the project when it is done to give it a good start.”
Also included in the appropriations bill is the $15 million that President Barack Obama requested to help pay for the front-end engineering and design for the project’s study, Dorgan said.
The appropriations bill containing the funding was voted out of Dorgan’s subcommittee today and will go to the full Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday. Dorgan said he expects it to be approved without problem.
Here’s the full list from Dorgan’s office of North Dakota projects that will be included in the energy and water appropriations bill (including the funding for the diversion):
Permanent Flood Protection
This funding will be used to finish the Fargo-Moorhead Metro flood control feasibility study, conduct preconstruction engineering and design for a permanent flood protection project, and begin project construction.
NDSU Center for Nanoscale Energy
This funding will be used by North Dakota State University to develop new nanoscale energy materials that will help improve energy efficiency and reduce our country’s reliance on foreign sources of energy.
NDSU Center for Computationally Assisted Science and Technology
Funding will be used to increase computing power and staff at the NDSU Center to accelerate the material discovery and development of energy technologies. Researchers rely on computing power and simulations and modeling applications to help analyze theories and validate experiments that are difficult or expensive to conduct.
NDSU Clean Energy Technology Research
Funding will allow NDSU and Calnetix, a energy technology company, to develop and implement technology that would enable heat recovery from flue gases in coal-fired power plants. The technology could improve both the efficiency and profitability of North Dakota’s lignite power plants.
Red River of the North Basin Study
This funding will be used to examine the behavior of water in the basin. The Red River flows through a unique landscape and frequently floods. In the past, money from this account has helped fund the Fargo-Moorhead Metro flood control study, a flood control study of the Sheyenne River, and a project that has collected more accurate elevation data for the basin, among others.
Fargo Water Treatment Plant Study
Funding will be used to evaluate treatment technologies and expansion alternatives necessary to treat elevated sulfate concentrations. Increased sulfate levels in Fargo water sources could result from operation of a Devils Lake outlet.
Fargo Moorhead Upstream Study
This funding will be used to evaluate options to reduce flooding and restore aquatic ecosystems
in the upstream Red River Basin of Fargo-Moorhead.
Missouri River Basin Study
Funding will be used by the Corps of Engineers to continue a five-year study of the Missouri River water is being used.
Mandan Raw Water Intake
Funding will be used for the construction of a new water intake on the Missouri River to minimize future siltation problems and provide the system with a reliable water source.
Bismarck State College Smart Grid Simulation Technology
Funding will allow BSC to develop a Smart Grid laboratory, including a transmission simulator, to provide real-world training for the electric power system workers. The Smart Grid lab will provide a training tool for technicians to operate the electric system of the future.
Mandan Dike/Jetty Restoration
Funding will be put toward the Corps of Engineers to restore this dike along the Missouri River in Mandan. Since 2008 the dike has been deteriorating due to shifts in the river channel, causing significant ongoing erosion.
Great Plains Energy Corridor
Funding will be used for the Great Plains Energy Corridor Office in Bismarck to promote and advance the region’s energy industry. The Energy Corridor will work with energy researchers and industry leaders to develop new and innovative energy sources specific to the Northern Great Plains.
- Grand Forks
EERC Fossil Fuel Research and Development
This funding will be used by the Energy and Environmental Research Center at the University of
North Dakota to continue advanced clean coal technology and fossil fuel research.
UND Therapeutic Antibodies and Vaccine Research
This funding will be used for a collaborative project by the University of North Dakota, Mayo Clinic, and Avianax, a Midwest biotechnology firm, to research and develop vaccines and antibodies to treat disease threats including the Avian Flu and West Nile Virus.
EERC National Center for Hydrogen Technology
This funding will allow UND’s Energy and Environmental Research Center (EERC) to continue its research and development of hydrogen energy. In 2005, Senator Dorgan included a provision to create the EERC National Center for Hydrogen Technology.
EERC Center for Biomass Utilization
This funding will be used for research at the EERC to continue development of new conversion and processing technologies that can produce electricity, heat, transportation fuels and value-added byproducts from clean renewable biomass.
UND Wind Energy Materials Development
This funding will be used by the UND School of Engineering and Mines to help develop new advanced materials to improve the efficiency and reliability of turbine blades, particularly in low-temperature climates. North Dakota is home to two wind manufacturing facilities that produce the wind towers and turbine blades used in wind farms.
Grand Forks Water Treatment Plant
Funding will be used for the planning and design of a new $73 million water treatment facility.
Red River Valley Research Corridor Coordinating Office
Funding will be used by the Red River Valley Research Corridor Coordinating Office to help promote and advance the research, development and commercialization activities occurring in the state’s Red River Valley Research Corridor.
Advanced Energy and Research Studies
Funding will be used to develop innovative solutions to promote the use of clean, reliable, affordable and efficient energy technologies.
Northwest Area Water Supply
This funding will be used to continue the Northwest Area Water Supply project, which will provide water from Lake Sakakawea to the city of Minot and other rural northwestern North Dakota communities, by continuing work on the project’s Environmental Impact Statement.
North Prairie Rural Water District
Funding will be used to rehabilitate existing reservoirs to improve efficiency and to develop additional storage to benefit 2,500 existing rural connections as well as the communities of Surrey and Max.
Grafton Flood Control Project
Funding will be used by the Army Corps of Engineers to begin construction of a flood control project to protect Grafton from future flooding. The project includes a bypass channel, diversion and levees.
Water Treatment Plant Improvements
Funding will support the third phase of a system upgrade, addressing water filtering and plant infrastructure.
Walsh Rural Water District
Funding will be used to build a 500,000 gallon concrete ground storage reservoir to supplement an existing 80,000 gallon storage/pumping facility.
- Park River
Park River Water Distribution System
Funding will be used to add new pipeline and construct a new water tower that will replace the current one.
- Devils Lake
Lake Region State College Wind Energy Technician Training and Infrastructure
Funding will allow Lake Region State College to install a wind turbine on campus to provide hands-on training for students enrolled in its Wind Energy Technician Program.
Greater Ramsey Water District
Funding will be used to expand water service to approximately 80 new rural customers plus the community of Pekin.
- Standing Rock Indian Reservation
Standing Rock Irrigation
Funding will be used to help complete irrigation systems on 2,380 acres on the Standing Rock Indian Reservation.
Sitting Bull College Wind Turbine
Funding will be used by Sitting Bull College to install a second small wind energy system that will be used to help power the campus and nearby community.
This funding will be used to continue the partnership between the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the U.S. Air Force to help control mosquitoes in the city of Williston and the Trenton Indian Service Area.
Williams Rural Water
Funding will be used to expand service to approximately 200 new connections in the Williston area.
Williston Waste Water Treatment System
Funding will be used to conduct an engineering study to expand the treatment capacity of Williston’s Waste Water Treatment plant to accommodate the energy industry’s growth.
LaMoure Sanitary Sewer
Funding will be used to line the interior of sanitary sewer system pipes to help address excessive infiltration of ground and flood water into the community’s system.
James River Basin Study
Funding will be used by the U.S. Corps of Engineers to complete reconnaissance and initiate a feasibility study on flood control alternatives to protect Jamestown and other communities along the James River from future flooding. Due to record snow pack and high runoff, the James
River experienced record flooding in 2009.
- Valley City
Sheyenne River Basin Study
Funding will be used by the U.S. Corps of Engineers to complete reconnaissance and initiate a feasibility study on flood control alternatives to protect Valley City and other communities along the Sheyenne River from future flooding.
- Eastern N.D.
Traill Rural Water District
Funding will be used to construct a well field and a water treatment plant.
Southeast Water Users District
Funding will be used for west reservoir system upgrades.
- Western N.D.
This funding will be used for the Southwest Water Authority (SWA) Pipeline expansion into Oliver, Mercer and northern Dunn counties.
McKenzie County Regional Water Service
Funding will be used to install transmission pipelines, pump stations, and reservoirs to provide water service to 100 users around Watford City.
- Central N.D.
South Central Regional Water District
Funding will be used by the South Central Regional Water District to continue expansion of rural water service into Emmons, Kidder and Logan counties.