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The final legal hurdle for NAWS?


It could be the final legal hurdle for the Northwest Area Water Supply Project.

That’s the project to bring Missouri River water to Minot and areas of North Central and Northwest North Dakota.

It’s been in the courts since 2002, when Manitoba and Missouri filed suit. An environmental impact statement was done, and in 2017 the federal District Court in Washington, DC ruled it met the requirements of the Environmental Protection Act. The Court also ruled Missouri did not have standing to bring the suit. Both Missouri and Manitoba appealed, though Manitoba later withdrew. Now the Court has dismissed Missouri’s appeal.

"It appears now the legal challenges to this are over," said North Dakota Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "That's pending a last-ditch, 'Hail Mary' by Missouri to go to the US Supreme Court. I think it's unlikely to succeed. So at this point, the long legal process appears to be over."

Stenehjem said the 2019 Legislature approved a $75 million line of credit for a water treatment plant – so work will continue on bringing water to Minot and the surrounding areas.