For Immediate Release Oct. 1, 2018 Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 State Must Investigate, Reveal Cause of Fish Kill on the Poudre River Fort Collins: Recent news reports have indicated that the fish kill on the Poudre River through Fort Collins has wiped out thousands of fish (see Sept 28 Coloradoan story here). Further, one of the prevailing hypotheses for the kills is warmer temperatures and lower flows in the Poudre River. Further yet, warmer temperatures and lower flows may be the exact future for the Poudre River as climate change intensifies and if the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is built. "The State must fully investigate and reveal the cause of this fish kill," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "If it is related to warmer temperatures and lower flows, then climate change and NISP could turn the river through Fort Collins into a muddy, stinking, dead ditch, not a river ever again." About 63% of the water in the Poudre River is already drained out by cities and farmers before the river reaches downtown Fort Collins. If the Northern Integrated Supply Project is built, about 40% of what's left of the peak flow of water during May and June will also be drained out (see July 20 press release here). Even worse, the proposed 'mitigation' for the huge negative impacts on the health of the river wouldn't extend downstream past LeMay Avenue in Fort Collins where the fish kill has occurred. "NISP would basically kill the Poudre River through Fort Collins," said Wockner. "The State and the Army Corps of Engineers must do a full analysis of the potential impacts of NISP including its low flows and interaction with climate change." October 4th is the deadline for comments to the Army Corps of Engineers on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for NISP. The public can send in comments to the Army Coprs by clicking through to Save The Poudre's ACTION PAGE HERE. ***end***
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”.