Hi Poudre River Lovers! 2020 is the year that it all comes to a head, and Save The Poudre is in the fight! First, last week the State of Colorado gave a "401 Water Quality Certification" (401 Cert) to the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). We have unleashed our scientists and attorneys on the documents and are preparing for legal battle. The 401 Cert for NISP is one of the worst we've ever seen, with almost no actual safeguards or conditions that ensure the protection of the river's health. We have now asked the State Water Quality Control Commission for a time extension to review it -- they initially gave us only 30 days -- because the documents are over 1,000 pages of technical and legal details that our team is digging through. This permitting fight will be a legal and scientific battle that is not open to the public, but it is YOUR SUPPORT that has given us the financial ability to hire attorneys and scientists. We are digging in for the fight. Second, Larimer County will soon start its permitting process for NISP. As of this writing, NISP has not yet submitted their application to the County, but it is expected in the next few weeks. As soon as the application is submitted, we will dig into that document -- also likely to be 1,000 pages -- and engage in that permitting process. This permitting process WILL BE OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. We will be getting back in contact with you to let you know when you can submit comments to the County Planning Commission as well as atttend hearings of the Larimer County Commissioners. Finally, NISP continues to be a "Half-Baked Boondoggle". In 2019, NISP was unable to reach an agreement with farmers to secure more than half the water for the project, and so now NISP has started buying farms in Weld County to get the water from those farms. That farm-buying process is not working out -- so far, NISP has only been able to buy three farms, totaling ~160 acres (and ~160 acre-feet of water). NISP needs to buy 22,000 acre-feet of water, which will require them to buy several hundred farms. Not only will NISP further drain and destroy the Poudre River through Fort Collins, it now proposes to be the biggest farm-buying scheme in the history of northern Colorado. Already proposed to cost $1.1 billion, NISP's farm-buying scheme -- if it is successful, which is highly speculative -- will drive the cost nearer to $1.5 billion! It's patently ridiculous -- and we believe, illegal -- that the State of Colorado, as well as Larimer County, are both considering permits for a project that doesn't even have the water rights to allow it to operate. Rest assured, we will be communicating with the State and the County about this ridiculous half-baked process. Our mission is to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River! We've been at it for 17 years, and it's…
July 14, 2019
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
Judge Allows Save The Poudre To Intervene Against Thornton Pipeline
Poudre River, Colorado: Today, State District Court Judge, JUAN G. VILLASEÑOR, issued an order allowing for Save The Poudre to “intervene” in the lawsuit the City of Thornton is waging against Larimer County about the proposed Thornton Pipeline (the order is posted here). Thornton opposed Save The Poudre’s intervention and formally motioned the court against it. The neighborhood group, “No Pipedream”, was also allowed to intervene in the same order.
“We are pleased with the court’s decision and, to the best of our ability, we will defend the Larimer County Commissioners’ decision to stop the Thornton Pipeline and send the water down the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre. “The Poudre River is already degraded by dams, diversions, and pipelines — adding this water to the river will increase the river’s health and make the river cleaner for all Larimer County residents to enjoy.”
The court case is expected to play out of the next 6 – 12 months as attorneys for Larimer County, Save The Poudre, and No Pipedream will all now defend the decision by the Larimer County Commissioners. Thornton has fought a bitter, expensive, and so-far losing battle to build their pipeline while other alternatives exist including the “Poudre River Option” which was discussed at length during the year-long permitting battle that Thornton lost.
“We should all be collaborating about how Thornton can get water and how we can restore the Poudre River, rather than fighting in court,” said Wockner. “Thornton is wasting millions of dollars of its citizens’ money, continuing to anger Larimer County residents, and wasting everyone’s time.”