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Judge nixes pipeline plan for flooded ND lake

DOUGLAS, N.D. (AP) -- A district judge has put a stop to plans for a $6 million pipeline to relieve chronic flooding at Rice Lake in north central North Dakota.

Judge Richard Hagar says the Rice Lake Recreation Service District doesn't have the authority under state law to use eminent domain to obtain land along the proposed 11.5-mile route of the pipeline to transfer excess lake water into Douglas Creek.

A landowner group had opposed the plan. Opponents worried that it could lead to downstream flooding of pasture and hay land.

The Rice Lake Board of Directors did not immediately respond to Hagar's ruling.

Rice Lake has risen four straight years, damaging or destroying about 30 homes.