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. HOORAY! 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: http://savethepoudre.org/donate.html 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: http://savethepoudre.org/donate.html Thank you for your support! Mark Easter, Chair of the Board; Gary Wockner, Executive Director
For Immediate Release
May 14, 2018
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
To Avoid Federal Permit, Thornton Continues to Drain the Poudre River and Proposes Massive Water Pipeline that would Wreak Havoc on NoCO Neighborhoods, Even Though “Poudre River Option” is $50 Million – $150 Million Cheaper
Fort Collins, CO: Through a Colorado Open Records Act, it has been revealed that the City of Thornton has long been analyzing the “Poudre River Option” (see map here) for their Thornton Water Supply Project. That analysis indicates that the Poudre River Option could be $50 million – $150 million cheaper than a “Pipeline Option”, but Thornton is almost solely choosing the Pipeline Option to avoid permitting processes, especially a federal permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
The short summary presentation (posted here, dated June 3, 2014) was prepared by City of Thornton staff for the Thornton Planning Commission and the Thornton City Council back in June of 2014. The presentation contains several slides about the permitting process and the City’s discussions with the Army Corps of Engineers about how to avoid the Corps permit process.
The Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins is already severely depleted, with 63% if its water drained out by farms and cities before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins. Thornton’s diversion already occurs, but the amount of water — up to 20,000 acre feet (over 6 billion gallons/year) — proposed for the Project could be sent down the Poudre River through Fort Collins and diverted into the Thornton Pipeline downstream near Windsor, thus vitally replenishing the Poudre River through Fort Collins. In addition, the water could be sent down the river during the peak flow months of June/July/August when the water would make the river healthier for people and the environment.
“Thornton has the opportunity to do the right thing. In fact, we’ve been talking to Thornton about this for nearly 10 years,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre. “Running this water through Fort Collins would not only save Thornton a lot of money, it would make the river cleaner and healthier for people who recreate in the river as well as support the wetlands and riparian forest through Fort Collins.”
Thornton has applied for a “1041 permit” from Larimer County to run the water through a proposed massive pipeline under and along Douglas Road north of Fort Collins, through other neighborhoods north and east of Fort Collins, and down through neighborhoods near Windsor. The Larimer County Planning Commission is considering the permit on Wednesday, May 16th. If the Planning Commission approves the pipeline, the final permit authority goes to the Larimer County Commissioners at a meeting currently scheduled for July 9th.
“Thornton should collaborate instead of continuing to drain the Poudre River through Fort Collins and wreaking havoc on neighborhoods,” said Wockner. “Why won’t Thornton collaborate? The people of Fort Collins would embrace Thornton as a good neighbor if Thornton did the right thing here.”
Over the last several years, Save The Poudre has told Thornton that Save The Poudre would support the federal permit and help shepherd the Project through the permitting process at the state and federal level if Thornton chose the “Poudre River Option”.