Hi Poudre River Lovers! Thank you for your support!! It's your support that keeps us working hard. Please donate online by clicking here. Good News First! In February, State District Court in Larimer County ruled in support of our fight to stop the Thornton Pipeline. The court ruled that the Larimer County Commissioners were legally justified to deny Thornton’s permit, a denial we intervened to support in the lawsuit. Thornton has now appealed that decision, and we are counting on this new Larimer County Commission to defend itself in the State Court of Appeals. If Thornton would simply do the right thing – which is run the water down the Poudre River through Fort Collins – they wouldn’t even need a permit at all! Thornton would have saved millions of dollars in court costs, planning, and permitting by simply taking Save The Poudre’s advice TEN YEARS AGO and keeping the water in the Poudre. We will remain vigilant and engaged in this battle – stay tuned for the action! Second, our ongoing battle to stop the Northern Integrated Supply Project continues to work its way through the court system. We now have two lawsuits against the FORMER Larimer County Commissioners, Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly, for their illegal decision to support NISP. First we argue that Johnson and Donnelly were biased due to their decades of support for NISP. Second, we argue that Johnson and Donnelly’s decision violated the Larimer County land use code in multiple ways. NISP would have dramatic negative impacts on the Poudre River, on neighbors around the proposed reservoir, and on neighbors along the pipeline route. We have worked in close coalition with two local neighborhood groups – “Save Rural NoCo” and “No Pipe Dream” – to fight the project and influence the court’s and the County’s decision. The NISP battle now turns to the City of Fort Collins! NISP has applied for a “Site Plan Advisory Review” for the project, including for the massive environmentally destructive pipeline through the City’s Natural Areas on the east side of Fort Collins. The City has scheduled a “neighborhood meeting” on April 21st at 6:00pm, and ALL SAVE THE POUDRE MEMBERS are invited as neighbors! We are encouraging all of you to sign up for this “Zoom” neighborhood meeting – let’s show the City how much we care about the Poudre River and its Natural Areas, and how much we OPPOSE NISP. We’ll keep you posted on how to zoom attend the neighborhood meeting – make sure and sign up for our newsletter on SaveThePoudre.org. Finally, Save The Poudre is awaiting the final “Record of Decision” from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, which is expected to be released this year. Our legal and scientific team is ready for battle when this permit is released. We have a great attorney lined up to fight this permit if needed, and we are prepared to do everything we can to stop NISP. In other Big News, we’re excited to have launched a new “Rights of Nature” program for the Poudre River. The “Rights of Nature”…
April 20, 2020
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
Save The Poudre and Neighborhood Groups Challenge Larimer County’s “Completeness” of NISP Application
Fort Collins: On Friday, April 17, Save The Poudre and two neighborhood groups — Save Rural NoCo and No Pipedream — filed a formal appeal with the Larimer County land use director requesting a reversal of the County determination that Northern Water’s NISP application is “complete”. (the appeal is posted here). The 10-page appeal lists numerous issues completely ignored by the NISP application that Save The Poudre and neighborhood groups claim are required by Larimer County’s land use regulations.
The issues ignored in the application include a broad range of serious violations of regulations, including the evaluation of:
- the lack of a permit for the “realignment” of Highway 287,
- the lack of water rights to operate the project,
- inconsistency with the County Master Plan,
- the complete lack of an alternatives analysis,
- the impact on public health and safety,
- the inability of the County to fund the project,
- the impact on the Cache la Poudre River of draining vast amounts of its water,
- the project relies on a huge farm-buying scheme that the Army Corps said was not feasible and too expensive,
- noise caused by power boats and recreation at the proposed Glade Reservoir,
- and the lack of mitigation.
The challenge requires that the County Director of Community Development, Lesli Ellis, respond and either reverse the completeness determination or counter the challenge with justifications.
“Everything NISP does continues to be a half-baked billion-dollar boondoggle,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre. “Larimer County will be held to the strict letter of the law in its own land use regulations if this permit process moves forward.”
Just last week, Save The Poudre challenged and appealed the State’s “Water Quality Certification” for NISP. The 17-year battle over NISP will likely reach its peak in 2020, with potential legal battles at the County, State, and Federal level.
“We’ve been girding for this battle for 17 years,” said Gary Wockner. “We intend to run through the tape in a full sprint to keep the Poudre River healthy and flowing.”