July 1, 2021 For Immediate Release Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 Fort Collins Planning and Zoning Commission "DISAPPROVES" NISP Pipeline Fort Collins: Last night, after three hours of testimony and deliberation, the Fort Collins Planning & Zoning Commission voted 3 - 2 to "Disapprove" the Northern Integrated Supply Project's (NISP) Site Plan Advisory Review (SPAR) application. NISP proposes to build a massive pipeline across city-owned and protected Natural Areas, and divert over 4 billion gallons of water per year out of the Poudre River, both on the eastern side of Fort Collins. "We're pleased with the Planning Commission's vote," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "NISP has no right to march into Fort Collins and cause huge damage to much-loved Natural Areas along the Poudre River that were bought and protected by and for the people of Fort Collins." With the Commission's disapproval now hanging over NISP, the entire project and its convoluted 18-year history is increasingly in limbo. The Commission's disapproval adds to the City's formal "opposition" to NISP that was codified by the City Council in a resolution on Aug. 4, 2020. Further, Save The Poudre has multiple active lawsuits against NISP, including challenging the use of SPAR in the City of Fort Collins. At this point, it's unclear what the NISP directors will do about the disapproval, and it's unclear how the courts will rule on Save The Poudre's lawsuit. "We will fight to stop NISP as long as it takes," said Wockner. "The people of Fort Collins have been extremely supportive and generous -- they've given us their marching orders to protect the Poudre River and we are fighting on every front." Save The Poudre put comments into the SPAR process and testified at last night's hearing. (This press release is posted here.) ***end***
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