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PRESS RELEASE: Save The Poudre Will Sue To Stop The Thornton Pipeline

For Immediate Release
June 18, 2024
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Save The Poudre Will Sue To Stop The Thornton Pipeline

Fort Collins, CO: Today, Save The Poudre notifies Larimer County and the City of Thornton that Save The Poudre will file a lawsuit to stop the Thornton Pipeline. At its administrative matters meeting this morning, June 18th, the Larimer County Commissioners will vote to finalize the 1041 permit with a “Findings and Resolution” (posted here, pages 202 – 249). (The item is on the consent agenda.)

Save The Poudre’s legal comments (posted here) argue convincingly that the County Commissioners should have required that Thornton send the water down the Poudre River in Fort Collins instead of putting it in a pipeline. By not doing so, the Commissioners have violated multiple sections of the County’s land use code, as described in Save The Poudre’s comments.

“It’s insane to divert the water out of the Poudre and put that water in a pipeline that crosses the river 12 miles downstream,” said Gary Wockner who directs Save The Poudre. “Using the river as the conveyance would increase the health of the river in Fort Collins, the riparian corridor along the river, and the recreational opportunity at the new Whitewater Park in downtown.”

Further, as Save The Poudre points out in its legal comment letter, the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) actually changed state law to specifically allow using the Fort Collins Poudre River corridor as the conveyance for about 13,500 acre feet of its water, while the Larimer County Commissioners failed to require Thornton to do the exact same thing for almost the exact same amount of Thornton’s water (14,000 acre feet).

“If NISP can do it voluntarily, Thornton must do it too,” said Wockner. “The legal and policy precedent set by NISP must be applied to Thornton, and we will seek court intervention to enforce it.”

During the 10-year battle over the Thornton pipeline, and throughout the recent hearings in Larimer County, nearly every single public comment from people of Larimer County — over a thousand in the 10-year process, and at least a hundred in the recent hearings — supported using the river as the conveyance for water.

“This decision not only violates the land use code, it violates the will of the people,” said Wockner. “Save The Poudre will stand up for the people of Larimer County and seek a better outcome for the Poudre River and the community.”

Save The Poudre is also in two lawsuits against the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) — in the state court of appeals and in federal district court, both in Denver — in part arguing that NISP should use the river as conveyance for all 40,000 acre feet of its water. The NISP battle has been playing out for 20 years, and may continue for several more. NISP also needs a 1041 permit to run a pipeline across City of Fort Collins Natural Areas, a permit process that hasn’t begun yet.

Save The Poudre is also waiting for the Army Corps Record of Decision to be released for the City of Fort Collins’ proposed large new dam on the North Fork of the Poudre River (“Halligan”), a project that would also drain more water out of the mainsteam of the Poudre northwest of Fort Collins. In addition, Save The Poudre is keeping a close eye on the City of Greeley’s plans to divert more water out of the mainstem of the Poudre.

“We’ve met with, and communicated with, all of these water providers over the last few years trying to reach a collaborative solution,” said Wockner. “Because they refuse to collaborate, litigation is our only choice and we have absolutely nothing to lose.”

Although it is not part of the current and potential lawsuits, Save The Poudre recently described a “Poudre River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund” that would help address the impacts caused by the four proposed dam/diversion/pipeline projects. Save The Poudre estimates that the Fund would need between $100 million and $200 million to be potentially effective.

This press release is posted here.

***end***

Save The Poudre Describes “Poudre River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund”

June 10, 2024

Poudre River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund 

The Cache la Poudre River downstream of Gateway Park in Larimer County is severely degraded and multiple new dam, diversion, and pipeline projects would further degrade it. The current flow regime – peak flows, base flows, and ongoing average flows – is already severely compromised. If all of the dam/diversion projects are built, the degradation will be further compounded. To enhance the ecological and recreational value and uses of the river, and to help address the problems with peak and base flows, a “Poudre River Mitigation and Enhancement Fund” must be established to fund the following types of projects:

  • Establish a “National Water Trail” from Gateway Park to the confluence with the South Platte.
  • Rebuild all diversion structures so that fish can swim upstream and boats can pass downstream.
  • Move diversion points downstream wherever possible so that water can flow farther downstream but still be gravity-fed to established ditches.
  • Develop strategies for water sharing arrangements – including exchanges and trades – between agricultural and municipal users to enhance recreational and environmental uses.
  • Develop a streamflow monitoring system that engages with cities and ditch companies – and the ditch rider – to make sure the river always has a “base flow” adequate for aquatic health, and eliminates dry-ups.
  • Clean the Poudre River – including city stormwater outfalls and agricultural ditch return flows – to allow the river to be used as a conveyance for municipal water and to improve the water quality.
  • Construct “channel enhancement” to narrow the river so that streamflow is deeper and cooler for better health of aquatic life and boating recreation.
  • Re-connect the river to its floodplain to increase the health of the riparian corridor.
  • Improve water quality and natural storage in degraded headwater areas, using nature-based ecological restoration processes.
  • Construct irrigation ditch “pump-up” systems that let water run farther downstream to be pumped back up to the same ditch.
  • Acquire and develop additional water supplies to increase flows in the Cache la Poudre River.

We estimate that between $100 million and $200 million is needed to fully establish an ecological healthy and recreationally functional Poudre River and a National Water Trail.

(This Fund description is a work in progress as of 6/10/2024 and may be changed.)

PRESS RELEASE: Save The Poudre Opposes House Bill 24-1107, “Judicial Review of Local Land Use Decision”

2/22/2024
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Save The Poudre Opposes House Bill 24-1107, “Judicial Review of Local Land Use Decision”

Fort Collins: An extremely dangerous, anti-democratic bill has been introduced into the Colorado State Legislature titled, “Judicial Review of Local Land Use Decision.” HB24-1107 would allow defendants in lawsuits — including developers, quasi-governmental agencies, and local/state govt — to obtain their attorneys fees against plaintiffs — including citizen and non-profit groups — if the defendants won in court in so-called “Rule 106” conflicts.

Forcing local citizen groups and non-profits to pay the attorneys fees of developers and agencies would hamstring the enforcement of local and state laws.

In fact, right now Save The Poudre is in court in a Rule 106 lawsuit against the former Larimer County Commissioners, and Northern Water, for giving a permit to the Northern Integrated Supply Project, a massive proposed dam that would further drain the Poudre River in Fort Collins. Save The Poudre has already lost in district court and is currently in the state court of appeals with the lawsuit. If Save The Poudre was required to pay attorneys fees of defendants Larimer County and Northern Water, it could easily eclipse Save The Poudre’s entire yearly ~$100,000 budget.

“This bill is an extreme pro-developer bill intended to squash public dissent and squash local non-profits fighting to protect the environment,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “We strongly encourage the legislature to kill this bill and find ways to raise the voices of citizens instead of trying to change state law to silence dissent.”

HB24-1107 is scheduled to be heard in the House Transportation, Housing, and Local Government Committee at 1:30 on Thursday, February 27th.

***end***

PRESS RELEASE: With Compromise Denied, Save The Poudre Files Federal Lawsuit Against Army Corps For Giving Permit To NISP

1/26/2024
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

With Compromise Denied, Save The Poudre Files Federal Lawsuit Against Army Corps For Giving Permit To NISP

Fort Collins: Yesterday, Save The Poudre filed a lawsuit in federal district court in Denver against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (“Corps”) for giving a 2023 permit to the Northern Integrated Supply Project (“NISP). The lawsuit comes in the 20th year of bungled and massively delayed permitting for the NISP boondoggle which was proposed to cost $143.9 million in 2005 permitting documents, but was recently revealed to cost $2.25 billion in a 2023 Colorado Open Records Act filing.

NISP proposes to divert a very large amount of water out of the Cache la Poudre River in Larimer County which would cause severe damage to the River, the aquatic life in the River, the new Poudre River Whitewater Park in downtown Fort Collins, as well as to the riparian corridor through Fort Collins and downstream. In some months and years, NISP would divert 65% of what water is left in the River which is already heavily diverted by farms and cities.

The lawsuit alleges that the Army Corps violated the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Clean Water Act when the Corps gave a permit to NISP.  Throughout the nearly 20 years of the federal permitting process, NISP claimed that it required 40,000 acre feet of water, and thus screened out many smaller and less environmentally damaging alternatives that could’ve met the needs of the participants, including conservation alternatives proposed by Save The Poudre.

The lawsuit is posted here.

And then, in a 2021 hail-Mary attempt to get a massive $464 million bailout from the U.S. taxpayer through a U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (“EPA”) loan program, NISP revealed in the application that it only needed 20,000 acre feet of water and could get by building only half of the project for now. A smaller half-sized project would’ve required a completely different NEPA analysis revealing smaller and much less environmentally damaging alternatives, including more conservation options.

The half of the project that would be built with the EPA loan was the Glade Reservoir complex in Larimer County, while the other half of the project, the Galeton Reservoir complex in Weld County, would be put on hold due to the exorbitant cost overruns. The cost overruns that catapulted NISP to $2.25 billion didn’t even include the cost of buying, or buying out, thousands of acres of irrigated farms in Weld County for Galeton Reservoirs’ so-called “water secure” program. The loan application to the EPA was filled out and signed by the NISP project manager, and it included declaring that any false information in it was subject to criminal prosecution.

In 2022, Save The Poudre publicly announced a “compromise” that would allow NISP to be built if it sent all of its water downstream in the Poudre River in Larimer County instead of draining the river and diverting the water out into pipelines. Save The Poudre deemed the compromise a “nature-based solution” that would protect the River in Larimer County but allow the water to be diverted out of the River in Windsor and/or Greeley. NISP refused to compromise and stuck to its 20-year old plan to further drain and destroy the Poudre River in Larimer County.

“It’s outrageous that NISP refuses to compromise to benefit the River and the vast majorities of people of Fort Collins and Larimer County who love the River,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre. “After 20 years, we now have no choice but to file this lawsuit and let it play out in court which will likely take several more years.”

NISP still needs a 1041 permit from the City of Fort Collins to run a massive pipeline through the City’s Natural Areas, a permit that was denied back in 2021 by the City’s Planning Commission. The City’s 1041 permit process hasn’t even started yet. The Fort Collins City Council has voted to oppose NISP several times, most recently in 2020.  Save The Poudre is also in state court against the former Larimer County Commissioners who gave a 1041 permit to NISP in 2020.

Save The Poudre is represented in this case by the public interest law firm Eubanks & Associates, PLLC.

This press release is posted here.

***

PRESS RELEASE: U.S. EPA Invites Massive Loan to Bail Out Poudre River Dam Boondoggle

11/28/2023
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Fort Collins, CO: Yesterday, Save The Poudre was informed that the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has “invited” the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) to apply for a massive loan of U.S. taxpayer money to try and bail out the $2.25 billion NISP boondoggle (see page 4 on the EPA’s website here). NISP — the massive proposed Poudre River dam project  which has limped along for 20 years in permitting and in court — was originally proposed to cost $140 million in 2004, and now is proposed to cost $2.25 billion (see our previous press release here about the cost of NISP).

Two years ago, NISP sent a “letter of interest” to the EPA, asking for a $484 million loan from the U.S. taxpayer through the EPA’s “Water Infrastructure Finance and Innovation Act” (WIFIA) program to bailout the project.  After NISP sent its letter of interest, Save The Poudre sent lengthy comments to the EPA about how the project should not receive a taxpayer loan (our comment letter to EPA is posted here). The EPA completely ignored Save The Poudre’s comments and has now invited NISP to apply for a loan.

“As our comments made clear, the EPA should be investigating NISP for the criminal violation of lying in its letter of interest, not asking NISP to apply for a loan,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “NISP purposely used ‘falsification and misrepresentation’ in its letter about the environmental impacts of NISP which is a criminal violation.”

In addition to ignoring Save The Poudre’s comments, the EPA has also ignored the City of Fort Collins. As our 12/4/2021 press release points out, the City of Fort Collins has grave concerns about the impact of NISP on the Poudre River’s water quality and the City’s Natural Areas. To this day, the Fort Collins City Council has voted to be 100% opposed to NISP.

“If the Biden Administration moves this loan forward, they will have effectively turned the EPA into the ‘Environmental Destruction Agency,'” said Wockner. “NISP is lying to the federal government to try and get taxpayer money to bailout a massive river-destruction scheme which violates every ethical standard of the WIFIA program and what the EPA should be doing.”

This press release is posed here.

***end***

PRESS RELEASE: NISP Record of Decision Issued; Save The Poudre Says, “We’ll See You In Court”

12/9/2022
For Immediate Release

Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

NISP Record of Decision Issued; Save The Poudre Says, “We’ll See You In Court”

Fort Collins, CO:  Today, after nearly 20 years, the Army Corps of Engineers issued the 404 Permit and Record of Decision for the proposed $2 billion “Northern Integrated Supply Project” (NISP) near Fort Collins, CO. The permit is posted here: https://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Media/News-Releases/Article/3241655/us-army-corps-of-engineers-issues-section-404-permit-authorizing-fill-discharge/

Save The Poudre response:

“We’ve fought this river-destroying project for nearly 20 years, girding for this final battle. Our attorneys’ pens are sharpened and we will sue to stop this project and protect the Poudre River as soon as possible. We’ve given the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District (“Northern”) every chance to find a compromise solution, but instead they’ve chosen to compromise the Cache la Poudre River. Northern proposes to spend $2 billion on a project that has one massive environmental impact in Larimer County — further draining and destroying the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins. We are happy to keep a dialogue open with Northern Water as the lawsuit plays out, but for now it’s a court battle they want, and it’s a court battle we will give them.”

Save The Poudre is also in state court against NISP, suing the former Larimer County Commissioners who gave a 1041 permit to NISP. That lawsuit is just beginning its briefing schedule after the beginning of 2023 and will play out in 2023. Federal court battles generally last 2 – 3 years for the first round in federal district court.

–end–

MEDIA STATEMENT: Save The Poudre Statement on Home Builders Association Letter to Larimer County Commissioners

Hi Colorado Environmental Media,

Yesterday, the “Home Builders Association of Metro Denver” and the “Colorado Association of Home Builders” sent a comment letter to the Larimer County Commissioners about the proposed “Thornton Pipeline”. The Home Builders’ letter, pasted in below and posted here, is uninformed, harasses the Commissioners, and is filled with false information.

Statement by Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Poudre:

  • “The Home Builders are uninformed and spewing false information to the County Commissioners and the public. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who is refusing collaborate and delaying the delivery of water. We’ve been in contact with Thornton for 14 years about this issue, and it was Thornton who originally planned to send the water down the Cache la Poudre River, not put it in a pipeline. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who changed its mind and spent more than a decade and millions of dollars trying to get a permit to build a pipeline in Larimer County. It is Thornton, not Larimer County, who filed a lawsuit, spending more millions of dollars, which further delayed the delivery of water and refused to collaborate.
  • In fact, if Thornton simply would’ve collaborated with us and stuck to their original plan and sent the water down the Poudre River — using the River as a conveyance — and then diverted the water in Weld County near Windsor, Thornton would not have even needed a permit in Larimer County and Thornton would’ve had its water 10 years ago.
  • We encourage the Home Builders to get their facts straight and stop harassing elected officials and the public in Larimer County.”

I’m happy to chat with any media on the phone about this.

Gary

— Gary Wockner, PhD, Director

Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper

Author: “River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World’s Rivers” (2016)
PO Box 20, Fort Collins, CO 80522
http://savethepoudre.org
http://www.facebook.com/SaveThePoudre
https://twitter.com/savethepoudre
970-218-8310

*****************

Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and Colorado Association of Home Builders Comments Letter – Thornton Water Pipeline Project

Morgan Cullen

to kefa…@co.larimer.co.us, kste…@larimer.org, JShadduc…@larimer.org, vol…@co.larimer.co.us, fri…@larimer.org, Ted Leighty, t…@hbacolorado.com

Dear Commissioners Kefalas, Stephens and Shadduck-McNally:

 

I am writing to submit formal comments on the ongoing legal challenges surrounding the Thornton Water Project. These comments are being provided on behalf of the Home Builders Association of Metro Denver and the Colorado Association of Home Builders.

The HBA of Metro Denver represents over 500 homebuilders, developers, remodelers, architects, mortgage lenders, title companies, subcontractors, suppliers, and service providers in the eight metro-area counties we serve. The Colorado Association of Home Builders has over 2,000 members across the state, representing over 40,000 jobs that play a crucial role in providing housing for Coloradoans.

For many years, Colorado has established itself as one of the best places to live, work and raise a family. Colorado has a proud history of communities working together to tackle tough issues, solve problems and improve the prosperity of all its residents through collective reciprocity and regional collaboration. Be it in politics, business or our shared civic responsibilities, we have always prospered because of that reason – We work together.

However, we have grown concerned that this spirit of regional collaboration and problem solving is being threatened over a critical issue in northern Colorado. By refusing to allow Thornton to access the water it has owned for nearly forty-years, Larimer County is impacting the livelihood and ability for families and individuals to live closer to where they work and inadvertently exacerbating Colorado’s housing attainability crisis along the front range.

The HBA of Metro Denver and the Colorado Association of Home Builders has included the attached letter to this email, outlining our concerns regarding these ongoing delays and the need reconcile the situation in an expedited manner. In the spirit of regional cooperation and housing attainability in Colorado, we respectfully request that Larimer County work in earnest with the City of Thornton to come to an agreement on this issue that has gone on for too long.

Thank you for your time and consideration of our concerns.

Sincerely,

Morgan Cullen
Director of Government Affairs

Home Builders Association of Metro Denver

mcu…@hbadenver.com

cell:  303-217-6858

9033 E Easter Place | Suite 200 | Centennial CO  80112

 

 

www.hbadenver.com

National Discounts, Local Member Savings available at

www.nahb.org/savings

 

PRESS RELEASE: Save The Poudre Promotes “NATURE-BASED SOLUTION” To End Poudre River Dam Fights

October 4, 2022
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Poudre, 970-218-8310

Save The Poudre Promotes “NATURE-BASED SOLUTION” To End Poudre River Dam Fights

Fort Collins: After nearly 20 years of intense battle that has paralyzed water supply planning in Northern Colorado, Save The Poudre has adopted a new United Nations-based model that could both restore the Cache la Poudre River and allow city agencies to meet their water needs.

Called “Nature-Based Solutions”, the model will be a central feature of next week’s United Nations Biodiversity Conference in Montreal (see conference details here). In addition, a new public opinion poll paid for by the Walton Family Foundation indicates that the American public has a strong preference for Nature-Based Solutions to solve environmental problems (see their poll here).

“We are excited to turn the page towards Nature and collaboration in this two-decade long battle to save the Poudre,” said Gary Wockner, director of Save The Poudre. “This United Nations approach that supports working with Nature instead of against it gives everyone involved a path forward.”

Save The Poudre’s plan is to reach out to city water agencies and federal decisionmakers to investigate using federal infrastructure money to use the Poudre River as the conveyance for water (see more details here about using the river as conveyance). To achieve that goal, water treatment plants would need to be built downstream on the Poudre River — likely in Windsor and Greeley —  so that agencies can run water all the way down the Poudre River through Fort Collins before diverting it out for municipal use. Regardless of where water is stored, and regardless of whether the water is stored in above-ground reservoirs or underground aquifers, in the United Nations model all of the water would return to the river and flow downstream to the water treatment plants.

“Using the Poudre River as the conveyance of water is an example of using ‘natural infrastructure’ that restores the river, increases the biological diversity of the river corridor and watershed, makes the river cleaner and healthier for humans and wildlife, helps address climate threats, and creates immense recreational opportunities for boaters and the public from the mouth of Poudre Canyon all the way to Greeley,” said Gary Wockner. “The Walton Family poll revealed that 76% of the American public prefers Nature-Based Solutions that use natural infrastructure.”

The battle on the Poudre began over 20 years ago when Northern Water, the City of Greeley, the City of Fort Collins, and the City of Thornton all proposed new dams, diversions, and pipelines to further drain the Poudre River before it reached Fort Collins. Altogether, the cities’ approach would be a final death blow to the Poudre River, further draining it and turning the river into a muddy, stinking ditch through Fort Collins. Save The Poudre has fought the cities’ plans every step of the way. The Nature-Based Solution approach would allow almost all of the municipal water to flow downstream in the Poudre River through Fort Collins before the water is diverted out in either Windsor or Greeley at water treatment plants and then placed into the cities’ water supply infrastructure.

Save The Poudre is currently in court against Northern Water’s proposed massive dam project called the “Northern Integrated Supply Project” (NISP), and is in court against the City of Thornton’s proposed massive water pipeline project. Save The Poudre will continue and escalate these court battles, and foresees more court battles against NISP, the City of Greeley, and potentially the City of Fort Collins. At the same time, Save The Poudre encourages these cities to change direction and support Nature-Based Solutions and collaboration.

“We’re now reaching out to Northern Water and the cities of Greeley, Fort Collins, and Thornton with our plan to support collaborative Nature-Based Solutions that use the Poudre River as the natural infrastructure for conveyance of water,” said Wockner. “Our next steps will reach out to federal decisionmakers about using federal infrastructure money that will create a United Nations-based approach here in Northern Colorado that sets up the region as a leader of environmental conflict management.”

Save The Poudre will soon make a video to describe and explain the new Nature-Based Solution plan.

This press release is posted here.

***end***

Colorado Rivers Press Release: Thornton Water Pipeline DENIED by Colorado State Court of Appeals

9/1/2022

For Immediate Release

Contact: Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre and Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Colorado Rivers Press Release: Thornton Water Pipeline DENIED by Colorado State Court of Appeals

Fort Collins: Today, the Colorado State Court of Appeals in Denver upheld a lower court’s ruling that denied the City of Thornton the right to build a water pipeline across northern Larimer County north of Fort Collins.

The ruling is posted here.

For several years, Thornton has tried to build a water pipeline across northern Larimer County to transfer water from over 20,000 acres of farms down to the City of Thornton. In 2018, the Larimer County Commissioners denied a permit for the pipeline, and Thornton sued the County. Save The Poudre, which has about 1,000 members in Larimer County, and another neighborhood group, No Pipe Dream, both intervened in the case to support Larimer County which was sued by Thornton. The pipeline proposes to transfer over 14,000 acre feet of water from farms down to Thornton.

Pipeline opponents, Save The Poudre and No Pipe Dream, argued that Thornton should run the water down the Cache la Poudre River through Fort Collins until it reached the Town of Windsor and then divert the water into a pipeline, thus restoring flows to a critically endangered 12-mile section the Poudre River.

“We’ve told Thornton for over 10 years that the water should flow down the Poudre River through Fort Collins,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Poudre. “This is potentially a win-win project, but Thornton refuses to use the River as a conveyance and continues to waste everyone’s time and money in court.”

Thornton must now decide if it will appeal the ruling to the Colorado Supreme Court, or propose a new pipeline route in Larimer County, or simply let the water flow down the Poudre River to Windsor which is an outcome that doesn’t even require any kind of permit in Larimer County.

“Once again, we offer to collaborate with Thornton rather than litigate,” said Wockner. “By working together, we can restore the Poudre River and Thornton can get the water.”

Save The Poudre’s mission is to protect and restore the Cache la Poudre River of northern Colorado.

This press release is posted here.

***end***

PRESS RELEASE: Fort Collins Planning Commission “DISAPPROVES” NISP Pipeline

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***

 

 

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