Hello Poudre River Lovers! We Are Deep Into The Fight And Need Your Support! Please make your tax-deductible donation today by clicking here. First, we had a HUGE VICTORY against the Thornton Pipeline! In February, the Larimer County Commissioners voted unanimously to “deny” the Thornton Pipeline, in part thanks to your support! You sent the Commissioners about 1,000 emails and many of you showed up to provide comment during the six public hearings over the last year. We also participated in the “Larimer Water Projects Working Group” for several months, all the while arguing that Thornton should send their water down the Poudre River! What’s next for the Thornton Pipeline and the “Poudre River Option”? It’s up to Thornton – they’ve publicly stated that they might file a lawsuit against the Larimer County Commissioners, and if they do, we will stand behind the Commissioners’ decision and support them in court. If you see the Commissioners, please THANK THEM for standing up for the Poudre River throughout the permitting process. Second, the permitting process for Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) is all coming to a head at the County, State, and Federal Level in the next few months: 1. NISP has applied for a permit from the State of Colorado Dept of Public Health and Environment for a “401 water quality certification”. Their application is 1,247 pages of extremely technical analyses that we have to digest and respond to in 60 days! We have a team of scientists and attorneys digging into the application. Your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit. 2. NISP is in the process of developing a “1041 permit” and “Intergovernmental Agreement” application to the Larimer County Commissioners to build Glade Reservoir, move Highway 287, and build two large pipelines north and east of Fort Collins. As soon as the drafts of these permits are public, in the next month or two, our team will dig into them – again, we expect them to be hundreds of pages of technical information. Your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit. 3. Last week, our attorneys sent the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers a legal letter demanding that the Corps prepare a “Supplemental Environmental Impact Analysis” for NISP. This demand is a response to the new revelation that NISP now expects to buy over 100 farms in Larimer and Weld County to obtain 25,000 acre feet of water to make NISP and Glade Reservoir feasible. This farm-buying scheme is a dramatic new twist in the now 16-year NISP debacle that changes everything about how the project would work and what its impact would be on northern Colorado. Again, your support is what makes the difference in our ability to hire professional experts to respond to this permit. For 16 years, Save The Poudre has been the voice for the Poudre River, and YOU are the megaphone that…
For Immediate Release
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper
Contact: Gary Wockner, Director, 970-218-8310
Groundhog Day On The Poudre River: With Release of NISP FEIS, Nothing Has Changed In 15 Years As Massive Dam Project Would Still Drain The Poudre Through Fort Collins
Fort Collins, CO: Today, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the long-awaited “Final Environmental Impact Statement (link here)” (FEIS) for the “Northern Integrated Supply Project” (NISP), a massive proposed new dam/diversion that would further drain the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins. Although 15 years has passed by, nothing has changed — the project would still dramatically reduce river flows and have huge negative impacts on the river.
In fact, right off the bat on page 15 (link here, image below), the FEIS indicates that the NISP “preferred alternative” (“2M”) would drain 45% of the water out of the river in May during high-flow periods and 39% of the water in June, the two peak flow months in downtown Fort Collins. Further, these impacts would occur exactly where the City of Fort Collins will begin construction of a new whitewater park this Fall (See graph below for the “Lincoln Gage” which is right across the street from New Belgium Brewing).
“It’s Groundhog Day on the Poudre River,” said Gary Wockner. “Every day for 15 years we’ve been waking up and nothing has changed — and now this FEIS clearly indicates, again, that NISP would further drain and destroy the Poudre River through Fort Collins.”
Further yet, the Poudre River has already had 63% of its water drained out by farms and cities at the same point in the river, and thus this new diversion would dramatically decrease river flows compared to the river’s natural state.
The FEIS weighs in a 2,272 pages plus 23 additional “technical reports”, but the Army Corps has given the public a paltry 45 days to review the massive document.
“The first thing we will do is send the Corps a request to extend the public comment period,” said Wockner. “And then our team of scientists and attorneys will dig in for our summer of reading.”
“We’ve been at this for 15 years, and we are digging in for the home stretch,” continued Wockner. “We are bigger, stronger, and better funded than ever, and we will never stop fighting to protect the Poudre.”
This press release is posted here.
Gary Wockner, PhD, Director
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper
PO Box 20, Fort Collins, CO 80522