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Lawsuit challenges Missouri River water plan

Tuesday, February 24, 2009 | 3:50 p.m. CST; updated 4:17 p.m. CST, Tuesday, February 24, 2009

JEFFERSON CITY — Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster said he has sued federal officials to stop a plan to divert Missouri River water to northwestern North Dakota.

The U.S. Department of the Interior signed off on a $17.5 million water treatment plan last month for the Northwest Area Water Supply project. The project was first authorized by Congress more than two decades ago but is still a long way from completion.

The Missouri lawsuit claims that directing river water to a North Dakota reservoir would harm Missouri residents, as well as the state's shipping and agricultural industries that rely on the Missouri River.

Missouri has long engaged in battles with upstream states over access to water from its namesake river, which starts in Montana.

 


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