FARGO, N.D. (AP) — Opponents of a Red River diversion project around the Fargo metropolitan area say a judge’s order halting construction of a separate levee project should remain in place — even though the project’s environmental review has been approved.

A judge said earlier he was putting construction of the levee on hold while the Minnesota Department of Natural Resources completed its environmental review of $2.1 billion channel. The levee would protect areas that would be part of a staging area for floodwaters.

The DNR last month determined the diversion met all legal requirements, but stressed that backers still need a permit from the agency before construction can begin. Diversion opponents say the injunction should remain until the DNR signs the permit.

Supporters say further delays will put residents at risk of flooding.

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