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Colorado Legislature’s Water Project Permit Streamlining Resolution is Reckless and Uninformed

For Immediate Release
April 26, 2016
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Colorado Legislature’s Water Project Permit Streamlining Resolution is Reckless and Uninformed

Denver, CO:  The Colorado State House of Representatives is scheduled to have a “floor vote” on “House Joint Resolution 1021” on Monday, May 2nd. The Resolution (posted here) is titled, “Concerning the Necessity for Congress to Streamline Water Permitting Process.” The resolution has not had any review by a House committee, nor any vetting by the public, and may have been pushed forward by a water agency that is trying to build new dam and reservoir projects. Further, the resolution urges Colorado’s federal congressional delegation to “stay engaged” in the “LEAN process” and “support streamlining recommendations,” but almost no one — including members of the environmental community — know much about what the “LEAN process” is or what it may do to the state’s rivers. The resolution also has an incoherent reference to “streamlining the permitting process so that it concludes in 90 days.”

Buried very deep in the very long Colorado Water Plan is a very short description of something called the “LEAN” process (page 9-43). Rumors have circulated that the State Water Conservation Board and its Director James Eklund have had secret meetings about LEAN to which “invited” guests have attended, but those meetings have not been open to the public. Further, there is no record of meetings, notes, attendees, or anything related to LEAN on the Colorado Water Conservation Board’s website nor has CWCB sent any such documents to the public.

“This resolution is reckless and uninformed,” said Gary Wockner, Director the Colorado River protection group, Save The Colorado. “The public has no idea what the LEAN process is, it’s had no public vetting, and it appears to have been discussed during secret meetings of invited guests.”

“Water projects that would dam, drain, and divert our amazing Colorado rivers need all of the eyes, ears, and science we can muster to protect them for future generations,” continued Wockner. “Real science costs real money and takes real time — that’s what federal law requires and that’s what serves the public.”

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