A construction project that was supposed to begin last month on the banks of the Colorado River in western North Dakota has been postponed, after federal officials warned the construction would be unsafe and potentially deadly.
The North Dakota Department of Transportation has said that construction will begin at the proposed reservoir on the riverfront next month, but the federal agency told the North Dakota Tribe that there is a high risk of flooding and possible mudslides.
Officials from the North American Indian Environmental Network said Thursday that construction was still being halted due to a water threat and that the pipeline could be affected by flooding.
They said it was likely that a spill would occur if a spillway were to be damaged.
The federal agency is asking for $2 million in federal grants to pay for cleanup costs and construction of a pipeline to carry water to the reservoir.
The project has been delayed in part because of a water safety issue and concerns about a spill.
The Federal Emergency Management Agency, which was responsible for overseeing the project, has not said what the water threat is, the Associated Press reported.
Federal officials were notified last month that a pipeline that carries water to a reservoir could be damaged by flooding and a water source could become an unsafe source of water.
They have not made any recommendations about whether to allow construction to proceed.
The North Dakotans have called for the pipeline to be halted because of concerns about the risks.