U.S. Water News Online
BISMARCK, N.D. -- North Dakota officials say a drainage
lawsuit filed by a Manitoba city is retaliation for a three-year-old
water lawsuit filed by the Pembina County Water Resource District in
northeastern North Dakota.
The city of Rhineland alleges that illegal drainage along the
Pembina River increased the amount of water flowing north across the
international border and into the Manitoba community.
The lawsuit was filed in Winnipeg against the Cavalier County
Water Resource Board; Pembina County, its Water Resource District and
five townships; and the North Dakota Water Commission.
Todd Sando, an assistant Water Commission engineer, said it
amounts to a countersuit against North Dakota government agencies.
The Pembina County Water Resource District in 2004 sued Manitoba
and some local provincial governments over a 26-mile earthen barrier
on the border. Canadians call it a road, but North Dakota officials
say it is a dike that causes flooding south of the border.
Rhineland's lawsuit "is retaliation," said Bill Hardy, president
of the Cavalier County water board.
The state attorney general's office said lawyers dealing with the
Rhineland case were out of the office.
Cavalier attorney Neil Fleming, who represents the Pembina County
Water Resource District, said the lawsuit filed in 2004 against
Manitoba has not yet been scheduled for trial, but that might happen
later this month. He said he anticipates the trial will happen this
Fleming said he also is monitoring the Rhineland lawsuit.
"I think it's a frivolous lawsuit and direct retaliation for the
filing of the first lawsuit," he said.
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