FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE APRIL 25, 2018 For Further Information Contact: Karen Wagner, 970-227-7437 THORNTON'S 1041 APPLICATION SHOULD BE WITHDRAWNUNTIL PHASES 2 & 3 OF THE THORNTON NORTHERN PROJECT ARE MADE PUBLIC Based on Thornton’s own admissions in today’s (4/25/18) Rocky Mountain Collegian article, the grassroots No Pipe Dream organization, Save the Poudre and the citizens of Larimer County call on the Larimer County Planning Department to inform the City of Thornton that its 1041 application is premature and should be withdrawn, until all present and future impacts of the city’s water transfers on land uses in Larimer County can be satisfactorily demonstrated. In the Collegian article, Thornton officials admit that multiple pipelines could be needed in Larimer County in the future; Thornton’s current 1041 application is limited to a single pipeline. Additionally the city stated that it was currently uncertain as to when the Denver suburb will need to deliver more water from the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County. Both statements are at odds with Thornton’s most recent contentions that a single 48” pipeline will be sufficient to meet the city’s needs until 2065 and that the 3-phase project doesn’t include additional raw water or return flow pipelines.No Pipe Dream, Save the Poudre and the citizens of Larimer County publicly call for the City of Thornton to withdraw its 1041 pipeline application for Phase 1 of the Thornton Northern Project, until such time that Thornton adequately lays out the full scope of the 3-phase project, provides a timeline and project description for Phase 2 and Phase 3, and discloses all present and future impacts to land uses in Larimer County as is required by the land use code. If Thornton declines to withdraw its current, Phase 1 application, we ask the Larimer County Planning Department, in consultation with the Larimer County Commissioners, to once again cancel the upcoming hearings based on a 1041 application that is premature, piecemeal, incomplete and fails to comply with the requirements of the land use code. As residents of Larimer County, we believe it would be a dereliction of duty for the Larimer County Planning Commission and the County Commissioners to consider or approve the current 1041 application without full disclosure of all present and future land use impacts of Thornton’s water transfers and the Northern Water Project . If Thornton cannot evaluate all present and future impacts at this time, the City should withdraw its application and reapply when all of those impacts can be substantiated. # # # Submitted by Karen Wagner (email@example.com) on behalf of the No Pipe Dream Steering Committee and Gary Wockner (firstname.lastname@example.org) for Save The Poudre
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 15 years and we are dug in to protect the beautiful Cache la Poudre River through the end of this process.”
The Conservation Groups include Save The Poudre, Sierra Club, Waterkeeper Alliance, Wildearth Guardians, Save The Colorado, and Fort Collins Audubon Society.
On Tuesday, Nov. 2nd, the Fort Collins City Council also responded to the FEIS by voting to send comments to the Corps about the negative impacts on the river and to “Not Support NISP”. The City focuses on the project’s negative impacts of how “the declined flows, and only three days of peak days, would hurt the surrounding environment, flood plains and overall river health.” (as reported by the Fort Collins Coloradoan — see article here)
This press release is posted here.