Hi Poudre River Lovers! THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT. YOU CAN DONATE ONLINE BY CLICKING HERE. We're aggressively working to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River by suing in court, fighting for better regulations, and countering the lies and propaganda. First, we are actively in the 'briefing' schedule in our state district court case against the proposed, massive, river-destroying reservoir called the "Northern Integrated Supply Project" (NISP). Recall, the former Larimer County Commissioners, Steve Johnson and Tom Donnelly, gave a permit to NISP over 2 years ago and we immediately sued the County. That case is playing out in court and we may have a decision by the district court judge in the next 6 months. We're arguing tenaciously that NISP would irreparably damage the Poudre River by diverting so much water out of the river through Fort Collins. Win, lose, or draw, we will keep fighting and take the case all the way to the Colorado Supreme Court if we have to! We're also continuing to prepare our lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving a permit to NISP. That case will play out in federal court in Denver, and who knows, the Poudre River may get its day in court with the U.S. Supreme Court in Washington D.C. as well. Second, the Fort Collins City Council recently considered new "1041 regulations" that would be required of NISP, and we testified to the Council to make sure the regulations are as strong as possible. Recall, the City has voted to "OPPOSE NISP", which was great news two years ago, and we are keeping the river's health front and center in the minds and eyes of the City Council. NISP would further degrade the Poudre River through Fort Collins as well as partially ruin the new $20 million Whitewater Park by removing so much water out of the river. We will do everything we can to protect the river in Fort Collins and get as strong of regulations from the City as possible. Finally, at that same Fort Collins City Council meeting on Feb. 8th, proponents of NISP stood up and told their tired, false story about how they think NISP would "improve the health of the Poudre River". This propaganda is ridiculous, and we continue to confront it at every turn. Take a look here on our Facebook page (click here to read it) for our rebuttal to this propaganda. NISP has one single purpose -- to drain the river before it reaches Fort Collins and send the Poudre's precious water out to sprawling towns mostly in Weld County. We will counter the lies and propaganda at every turn. Thank you for your support! It's your support that keeps us in court, keeps us testifying, and keeps us rebutting the propaganda. You can donate online by clicking here. Gary Wockner and Mark Easter, 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.