For Immediate Release Dec. 4, 2021 Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310 Poudre River-Killing Dam Project Seeks Half-Billion Dollar Fed Bailout From Infrastructure Act Fort Collins, CO: Yesterday, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) announced that it is potentially inviting the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) to seek a half-billion dollar bailout from money provided in the federal Infrastructure Act (see announcement here). In the announcement, EPA Administrator Michael Regan said the money would go to projects that would "safeguard public health, especially in underserved and under-resourced communities." Addressing those two points, Save The Poudre points out: First, about public health, NISP would severely impact the health of the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins by draining up to half of its water during the late spring and early summer. This fact has caused the City of Fort Collins -- which would bear all the negative impacts of NISP -- to vote to oppose NISP on several occasions. About NISP, the City of Fort Collins' website right now states: "The loss of springtime flows is likely to: cause fine sediment to clog riverbed habitat adversely impacting fish and insect health in the river lead to vegetation growing into the river channel, shrinking the size of the river and possibly rising flood levels dry out riverside vegetation and cause a narrowing of the cottonwood forests and wetlands These potential impacts to river health, may have a cascading impact on recreation opportunities on the river." Second, on the "underserved and under-resourced" communities issue, as just two examples of NISP participants' privilege, right now on Realtor.com, the "median sold home price" in Erie, CO, is $710,000 and in Lafayette, CO, it's $677,000. "Apparently, Administrator Regan has never been to northern Colorado," said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. "NISP is designed to destroy the health of the Cache la Poudre River and send its precious water to some of the fastest-growing, suburban, and most privileged communities in northern Colorado." NISP has been in federal, state, and local permitting processes for 18 years. In the past two years, Save The Poudre has filed 3 lawsuits against the project, one of which Save The Poudre won in the State Court of Appeals, and two of which are still pending in State District Court in Larimer County. Save The Poudre is waiting for the final permit from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, and if the Corps green-lights NISP, Save The Poudre is prepared to challenge that decision in court. When NISP was proposed in 2004, its was estimated to cost $350 million; that price has ballooned to at least $1.1 billion as most recently stated in 2018. Further, NISP has to buy at least 20,000 acres of farms in northern Colorado to obtain the water for the project, a cost that has not yet been publicly revealed. "NISP is the most controversial, most environmentally damaging, and most expensive project in northern Colorado history," said Wockner. "The EPA absolutely should not try to bail…
Hi Amazing Poudre River Lovers!
This is the 19th year — NINETEEN! — of our fight to save the Poudre River, to keep its healthy water flowing through Fort Collins, to keep the beautiful riparian corridor alive and green, and to support the amazing recreational and holistic lifestyle the Poudre River brings to our community. Here’s a summary update of where it all stands:
First, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has responded to our requests and has set up a meeting next week where we can air our grievances against their idea of loaning a half-billion dollars to help build NISP. In that meeting we will find out about how all of you can also reach out to the EPA — so stay tuned on that. We have found out that NISP falsified information in the application to the EPA which may be grounds for a lawsuit — so stay tuned on that!
Second, our lawsuit against the former Larimer County Commissioners continues to move forward. We are optimistic that the state district court will rule in our favor and overturn the permit the Commissioners gave to NISP.
Third, our lawsuit against NISP for claiming they had “vested property rights” on City of Fort Collins Natural Areas prevailed — we won! NISP has now agreed with the City that NISP DOES NOT own City Natural Areas and can’t automatically build NISP pipelines without approval from the Fort Collins City Council.
Fourth, our legal intervention against the Thornton Pipeline continues to successfully move forward and we are optimistic we will prevail against Thornton.
Fifth, we’ve put extensive comments into Larimer County’s proposed revision of its 1041 regulations. The County will be finalizing those regs at the end of January.
Sixth, we’ve been invited to help the City of Fort Collins create its new 1041 regulations over the next few months. We’re excited to help the City create strong regs that protect the Poudre River and the amazing beautiful Natural Areas throughout Fort Collins.
Finally, our attorneys are actively developing our legal fight against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to be ready if/when the Corps grants a permit to NISP, which could happen any day.
As we race into this 19th year of saving the Poudre, we are doing EVERYTHING that realistically can be done to Stop NISP, Stop the Thornton Pipeline, and Save The Poudre.
We GREATLY appreciate your support which keeps our nose to the grindstone working hard!
Stay tuned for all the action!!
Director, Save The Poudre