BISMARCK, N.D. (AP) — Grand Forks has given initial approval to a Chinese company’s proposed $700 million corn-milling facility. Officials say it could be the largest private sector investment in the community’s history.

The council approved a development agreement with Fufeng Group Tuesday that allows the project to move forward with financing and permitting.

City Administrator Todd Feland says construction on the project could begin later this year.

The project has drawn concerns from locals over water, air, and traffic impacts.  

Feland says permitting for the project will address environmental and other impacts.