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
Hi Poudre River Lovers!
It’s your support that keeps us working hard — thank you, and please click here to donate!
Here’s the updates about the Poudre River you need to know.
First, today, Save The Poudre released a short report about “Cleaning the Poudre River so it can be used as a conveyance for water supply”. The report is posted here.
A background summary: Both the Thornton Pipeline and NISP claim they can’t run all of their water rights down the Poudre River through Fort Collins because the water quality in the river is too dirty due to the City’s stormwater runoff. While that may, or may not, be true, there are engineering solutions that can “clean” stormwater before it runs into the Poudre. These solutions are cost-effective, environmentally sound, and proven in other municipalities around the U.S.
We consulted with AbTech Industries (https://www.abtechindustries.com/) to provide some estimates of technologies and costs for cleaning the City’s stormwater before it runs into the Poudre. Our report, as well as AbTech’s website, provide lots of examples and photographs for you to consider.
Long-story short — all water providers can use the Poudre River as a conveyance, which would provide the following benefits:
- Increase quality-of-life for City and County residents,
- Preservation of the environment and natural habitat along the Poudre River corridor,
- Maintaining or increasing flows for recreation including at the new downtown Fort Collins Whitewater Park,
- Increase water quality and cleanliness in the Poudre River.
Save The Poudre is requesting that the County and City convene a “Working Group” to examine cleaning the Poudre River so it can be used as a conveyance for water supply.
Second, last week the City of Fort Collins informed NISP that their Site Plan Advisory Review (SPAR) application is “not complete”. Specifically, NISP has failed to describe how their proposal will impact flooding along the Poudre River in Fort Collins. We are continuing to closely monitor this application and process. As we’ve noted before, we strongly believe that SPAR is an illegal use for NISP, and that the City should require a full development review of NISP that covers ALL OF THE DAMAGE NISP would cause to Fort Collins’ Natural Areas. The City has so-far refused to change direction, although they are investigating creating “1041 powers” for NISP. At this time, Save The Poudre is still in strong opposition to the City’s approach.
Third, the Thornton Pipeline continues to suffer serious setbacks, which is good! Last week, the Weld County Commissioners voted unanimously to “deny” Thornton’s 1041 application for their pipeline. Where this will all end, we don’t know, but we continue to intervene in the court case against the Thornton Pipeline, and we continue to work to require Thornton to send their water down the Poudre River through Fort Collins.
Thank you for your support. Again you can donate online by clicking here.
Stay tuned for all the action!
Director, Save The Poudre