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Published June 17, 2010, 09:23 AM

Peterson Wants Farm Bill to Help Flood Fight

U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson wants a provision in the next federal farm bill that would set aside $50 million a year to fund water retention projects in the Red River Valley.

By: Associated Press, WDAZ

FARGO, N.D. (AP) - U.S. Rep. Collin Peterson wants a provision in the next federal farm bill that would set aside $50 million a year to fund water retention projects in the Red River Valley.

The Minnesota Democrat's proposal over 10 years would cover half of the estimated $1 billion cost. Local and state governments would need to come up with the rest.

The retention projects would be separate from a proposed Red River diversion project in the Fargo-Moorhead area. But Peterson says water retention would reduce the flood threat from a diversion to downstream communities.

Area residents have spent the last two springs battling major floods, including a record-setting crest in 2009 that damaged hundreds of homes and forced thousands to evacuate.

Peterson heads the House Agricultural Committee, which drafts the farm bill.

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