A proposed pipeline that would bring pre-treated water to 23 communities and rural water systems in northwest Iowa, southeast South Dakota, and southwest Minnesota is moving forward. Troy Larson, director of the Lewis and Clark rural water system, says the system cleared a major hurdle earlier this month.Larson says they received a “Finding of No Significant Impact” or “Fonsi” which means they can go ahead without having to put together an environmental impact statement. He says that means the Lewis and Clark project is no long just a proposal, it’s a reality.Larson will coordinate the ongoing efforts to build the 400-mile pipeline which, when completed, will provide water from aquifers under the Missouri River near Vermillion, South Dakota. Larson says ground-breaking ceremonies will be scheduled for sometime in August at the site of the wells near Vermillion.He says funding for the project will be an ongoing battle, he says each year they have to secure funding from Congress, and that’s tougher as money is tight.Larson says they expect water to begin flowing through the pipeline to communities sometime between 2009 and 2012. In northwest Iowa pipelines are scheduled to be running to Sioux Center, Sibley, Sheldon, Boyden, Hull, Rock Rapids, and the Clay regional rural water system.
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