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New Federal Dam Bill Tries To Destroy Rivers, Gut Federal Law

For Immediate Release
March 24, 2017
Save The Colorado River Campaign
Gary Wockner: 970-218-8310

New Federal Dam Bill Tries To Destroy Rivers, Gut Federal Law

Colorado River, USA: Today the text of a new federal dam bill was made available to the public. The bill, “H.R. 1654 — Water Supply Permitting Coordination Act,” was introduced into the U.S. House by several Western American Members of Congress yesterday, March 23, 2017. The bill attempts to coordinate permitting processes for new dams, but also has radical anti-environmental provisions that would massively truncate scientific reviews of the environmental impact of proposed dams on rivers and the environment.

Gross Dam would be massively expanded to become the tallest dam in the history of Colorado, if Denver Water’s “Moffat Collection System Project” gets built.

Specifically, the bill (posted here) tries to gut the National Environmental Policy Act by limiting the “Environmental Impact Statement” (EIS) process down to “1 year and 30 days” after draft documents are made available to the public. Section 4. (4) is the cruz of the radical attempt to gut federal law.

“This federal dam bill is a river-destruction bill at its heart,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Colorado and author or River Warrior: Fighting to Protect the World’s Rivers.  “It takes significant amounts of time to analyze and understand the enormous environmental impacts that dams wreak on our rivers and environment. Trying to truncate that process is anti-science, anti-environment, and undermines the public’s trust as well as current federal law.”

As just one example,  we are 8 years past the Draft EIS for Moffat Collection System Project — a proposal by Denver Water to dam/drain 15,000 acre feet of water out of the Colorado River — and there’s still no “Record of Decision” because the Draft EIS and the Final EIS were riddled with problems and bad technical analyses. This bill would try to truncate the process, gut science, and gut federal law.

“This bill appears to be the first significant river-destruction bill introduced by this new Congress,” said Wockner. “River protection groups across America should engage to stop this bill.”

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