For Immediate Release October 4, 2018 Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 The Northern Integrated Supply Project Would Help Kill The Poudre River, Violate Clean Water Act "Diverting what's left of the peak flows of water would increasingly turn the river -- which is greatly loved by the people of Fort Collins -- into a muddy, stinking, lifeless ditch." -- Gary Wockner Fort Collins: Today, Oct 4th, was the close of the public comment period for the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP), a massive, billion-dollar, proposed dam and diversion that would further drain the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins. Save The Poudre and other Conservation Groups inserted a 36-page document into the comment period (along with 282 pages of technical attachments) -- prepared by the Washington D.C.-based law firm, "Meyer, Glitzenstein & Eubanks LLP" -- arguing that the Army Corps would be violating the Clean Water Act and the National Environmental Policy Act if they give a permit to NISP. Save The Poudre and the Conservation Groups argue that the impacts of NISP on the Cache la Poudre River would be devastatingly negative to the health of the river and the wetlands along the river as it flows through Fort Collins. Building NISP, the Groups argue, would not be the "Least Environmentally Damaging Practical Alternative" (LEDPA) which the Clean Water Act requires. In fact, about 63% of the river's water is already diverted by farms and cities before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins, and NISP proposes to cause massively more environmental damage by diverting about 40% of what's left of the peak flows in the months of May and June, on average. "NISP would cost over a billion dollars and basically kill the Poudre River through Fort Collins," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "Diverting what's left of the peak flows of water would increasingly turn the river -- which is greatly loved by the people of Fort Collins -- into a muddy, stinking, lifeless ditch." Save The Poudre and the Conservation Groups factually argue that the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers' FEIS violates the Clean Water Act and National Environmental Policy Act because the Corps: Failed to implement and analyze a proper "alternatives analysis" that would cause less damage on the environment, including alternatives that use more water conservation and buy water from farmers. Failed to adequately analyze the negative impacts to water quality in the river. Failed to adequately analyze negative impacts to sensitive wetlands and the forest along the Poudre River corridor in Fort Collins. Failed to adequately analyze the negative impacts to the Whitewater Park currently being built in downtown Fort Collins. Failed to provide adequate mitigation caused by the devastating negative impacts of NISP. "The FEIS violates federal law," said Gary Wockner. "The Corps has one more chance to correct these fatal errors when they create the 'Record of Decision' in the coming months. We've had an eagle-eye on NISP and the Corps for…
Great News, Poudre River Lovers!
NISP HAS BEEN DELAYED AGAIN!
We recently found out that the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) has now been delayed until 2018. So, in 2018 that will be the FIFTEENTH YEAR we have been fighting and Stopping NISP.
Thank you for all of the support for the last 14 years! Your support has made all of the difference, and we’d be grateful for your support again.
Please click here to donate to Save The Poudre:
But the news isn’t all good. Due to the Trump administration’s lock on the federal government, we can almost guarantee that the permitting process for NISP will get fast-tracked in 2018. Further, it’s becoming increasing clear to us that the system is rigged. Over the 14 years of our fighting to stop NISP, we’ve been relentless in providing objective, scientific information to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. However, every time they come out with a new draft of the Environmental Impact Statement, they pretty much blow off our comments and agree with the NISP side of the story.
More recently, we provided objective, scientific information to the Colorado Parks and Wildlife Commission, but they also blew us off and supported the “mitigation plan” for NISP which is filled with loopholes in the even minimal mitigation it proposes.
All of that means we are likely headed to court.
When our forefathers and foremothers in Congress in the 1960s and 1970s passed laws to protect the environment, they included provisions that allowed for citizens and groups like Save The Poudre to enforce the law. If we feel that the federal and state govt have violated the law, then we can enforce that law by filing lawsuits against those governments.
But we can’t be successful without your help.
Your financial support has and will continue to make the difference. Every time a public comment period is open in the permitting process, we throw ourselves into it – hiring outside scientific consultants and spending hundreds of hours packing the legal record for the eventual lawsuit. Over the next 12 months, there will be more critical periods where we will once again throw ourselves into it.
You have been a great member of the Save The Poudre team for 14 years! We greatly appreciate your support, but more importantly, you’ve allowed us to speak for the Cache la Poudre River in this long, crazy battle to stop NISP and Save The Poudre.
Every $10 or $25 makes a real difference.
If you can afford $50 or $100 or more, that’s great too!
CLICK HERE TO DONATE:
Thank you for your support!
Mark Easter, Chair of the Board; Gary Wockner, Executive Director