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A federal judge handed opponents of a planned Red River diversion project a victory by halting construction on a ring levee south of Fargo.

Federal judge orders construction stopped on ring levee

A federal judge handed opponents of a planned Red River diversion project a victory Wednesday by halting construction on a ring levee south of the Fargo metropolitan area until an environmental review is completed.

A group representing about 20 cities and townships in North Dakota and Minnesota filed a lawsuit in August 2013 against the diversion and later added a motion to stop construction of the dike that is meant to protect structures upstream

U.S. District Judge John Tunheim of Minnesota said the temporary injunction is appropriate because the Fargo-Moorhead Diversion Authority ignored the law by starting the project before the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources could complete its study. The diversion authority had argued the ring dike was separate from the overall project.

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