Hi Amazing Poudre River Lovers! We all knew this day would come, and come it has. Last Friday, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers sent out a press release saying they had signed the Record of Decision and 404 Permit for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP). As we always do, we jumped into action to learn as much as possible and stay on top of the swirl of media. We had quotes in stories in the Denver Post and Colorado Sun over the weekend, and more are coming. While one phase of the battle to save the Poudre has almost ended, another begins. We will soon have two active lawsuits against NISP: 1) against the former Larimer County Commissioners who gave a permit to NISP. This lawsuit will play out in 2023. And 2) against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for giving a permit to NISP. We will file that lawsuit against the Army Corps in the coming weeks as soon as we are able to read and analyze the permit. This federal permit court fight could take 2 to 3 years in federal district in Denver. In both lawsuits, we are thrilled to have a Great Legal Team. Further, our attorneys have their minds and pens ready as the briefing schedules play out. We have worked with them for years preparing for this day and for the next year. Further, NISP still needs a 1041 permit from the City of Fort Collins which is a whole different permitting process and arena, and we are 100% engaged in this Fort Collins permit as well which could take another year to play out. Here's what we know in our hearts -- the Cache la Poudre River is the heart and soul of Fort Collins, and the people of Fort Collins want the river protected and increasingly restored. YOU have given us our marching orders and we intend to march into court to make sure the Poudre River gets its day in court. At the same time, we continue to communicate with anyone who will listen -- NISP, Fort Collins, Greeley, Thornton, Larimer County -- about finding some sort of solution that meets everyone's needs, not just the narrow needs of water suppliers. We are working on every level to protect and restore the Poudre, and 2023 will be busier than ever. YOUR SUPPORT IS WHAT WILL KEEP US CHARGING FORWARD IN 2023! You can donate online by clicking here. THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT Gary Wockner, Mark Easter, and the STP Board/Team
April 15, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310
SAVE THE POUDRE TAKES LEGAL ACTION TO STOP NISP!
Fort Collins: Today, Save The Poudre took legal action to stop the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) by filing an “appeal” against the State of Colorado which gave NISP a “401 Water Quality Certification” in February. The State permit is one of three permits NISP needs, the other two have not yet been granted from Larimer County and the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers.
Save The Poudre’s appeal (posted here) alleges thirteen violations of State regulations. The Top Five violations are:
- No water rights – plan to fill Glade Reservoir requires buying hundreds of farms in Weld County, whereas only a few farms have been bought.
- Fails to take into account climate change and its reduction in streamflow in the Poudre River.
- Mitigation won’t occur until full build-out, maybe 30 years in the future.
- Mitigation doesn’t allow for peak flows to clean out the river and restore the riparian forest through Fort Collins.
- Fails to quantify any requirements to meet state water quality standards and relies on nebulous “adaptive management”.
“NISP is a half-baked billion-dollar boondoggle,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre. “We’ve been fighting this project for 17 years and we are proud to take legal action today to stop it.”
A Press Release Video is posted on Facebook here: https://www.facebook.com/watch/?v=657579431749602
The State permit was given by the staff at the Water Quality Control Division. The appeal now goes to the “Water Quality Control Commission” appointed by Governor Polis. The appeal process will play out in the coming months.
NISP is proposed to drain tens-of-billions of gallons of water out of the Poudre River through Fort Collins, specifically during the peak flow months of May and June where up to 50% of the water would be drained out including at the new Whitewater Park in downtown Fort Colins. The river already has about 65% of its water drained out — if NISP is built, the river would increasingly resemble a slow-moving ditch through Fort Collins.
This press release is posted here.