September 2, 2020 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 Save The Poudre Will Sue To Overturn Illegal Larimer County Permit For NISP Fort Collins, CO: Tonight after 17 years, the Larimer County Commissioners voted 2 - 1 to "approve" the 1041 application for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). The Commissioners' vote defies over 95% of public comments opposing NISP and requesting a denial, and defies all the science and scientists engaged around the Poudre River weighing in against NISP. Further and most importantly, the vote occurred under clear and compelling evidence that the application violated the Larimer County Land Use Code. Further yet, the two Commissioners who voted for the project -- Johnson and Donnelly -- had already been asked to recuse themselves, and were sued when they refused to recuse themselves, because they had publicly and loudly supported the project for at least a decade while sitting as elected Larimer County Commissioners. (The court ruled that the lawsuit should take place after tonight's vote.) Both the Larimer County Land Use Code and the Colorado Constitution require that County Commissioners sit in a "quasi-judicial" position (as judges) during 1041 permit process and are thus not allowed to publicly take a position about a project. Commissioner John Kefalas voted to deny the permit. "The Poudre River will be irrevocably damaged if NISP is built," said Gary Wockner. "In addition, the Commissioners were given clear evidence that the NISP application violates the land use code, including several of the 12 criteria, and as such this application absolutely should have been denied." "Further," continued Wockner, "it's also clear that Commissioners Johnson and Donnelly should not have voted at all, because doing so violated the Colorado Constitution as well as the Larimer County Land Use Code, given their prejudice and bias in favor of the project over the past decade." "Finally, because it violates the land use code, this decision to throw the public, the science, and the Poudre River under the bus is subject to 'judicial review'," said Wockner, "and as such, we fully expect to challenge this illegal decision in state district court as soon as possible." This press release is posted here. ***end*** -- Gary Wockner, PhD, Director Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper Author: "River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World's Rivers" (2016) PO Box 20, Fort Collins, CO 80522 http://savethepoudre.org http://www.facebook.com/SaveThePoudre https://twitter.com/savethepoudre 970-218-8310
For Immediate Release
June 20, 2019
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
SAVE THE POUDRE TRIES TO DEFEND LARIMER COUNTY AGAINST THE CITY OF THORNTON LAWSUIT
Poudre River: This week, Save The Poudre filed a “motion to intervene” (posted here) to defend Larimer County against the lawsuit filed by the City of Thornton. The lawsuit tries to overturn a unanimous decision by the Larimer County Commissioners to “deny” the Thornton Pipeline from diverting Poudre River water upstream of Fort Collins and piping it across the county and down to Thornton.
Save The Poudre believes the organization has a strong right to intervene and is optimistic the court will allow intervention:
- Save The Poudre literally started this issue 10 years ago by reaching out to Thornton.
- Save The Poudre kept in touch with Thornton over the years.
- Save The Poudre originally brought the “Poudre River Option” to the attention of the Douglas Road neighbors (a coalition now called “No Pipedream”).
- Save The Poudre participated in all of the Larimer County hearings and Working Group processes, arguing for the Poudre River Option.
- Thornton discussed the Poudre River Option at length during the County hearings, and also offered the County to put a small part of its water rights back in the Poudre.
- The issue is solely about Poudre River water and whether to run some or all of the Thornton water rights down the Poudre.
“Our organization and our members have a right to be in this case because this case directly impacts our mission to ‘protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River of northern Colorado,’ said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre.
The City of Thornton has initially “opposed” Save The Poudre’s intervention, but the judge has now given Thornton 30 days to formally respond to Save The Poudre’s full motion.
“It’s completely ridiculous that Thornton opposes our intervention,” said Wockner. “We have every right to defend Larimer County, represent the Poudre River, and represent our members in this lawsuit.”