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PRESSER: Conservation Groups Pound The “Half-Baked” Lake Powell Pipeline, As Comment Period Closes

January 10, 2020
For Immediate Release
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310

Conservation Groups Pound The “Half-Baked” Lake Powell Pipeline, As Comment Period Closes

Colorado River: Today, as the comment period closes for “scoping” for the proposed Lake Powell Pipeline, a coalition of conservation groups sent the Bureau of Reclamation a 34-page comment letter arguing that the project must be put on hold. The coalition, lead by Moab-based Living Rivers, details the shortcomings, faulty thinking, and anti-science in the Pipeline proposal. (The comment letter is posted here.)

The letter argues that:

  • The Pipeline would increase the likelihood of a “Compact Call” on the Colorado River.
  • The Bureau has not fully evaluated Utah’s, and the Tribes’, water rights allocations.
  • The renegotiation of the 2007 Interim Guidelines must occur first and take precedence over the Pipeline permitting process.
  • Utah’s previous FERC application for the Pipeline — which Utah says will be used as a basis for the Bureau’s NEPA process — is dramatically inaccurate and does not address the full range of the Pipeline’s environmental impacts.

“The Lake Powell Pipeline is simply half-baked,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado, one of the coalition partners. “Utah has already wasted 10 years and $10 million on this half-baked proposal, and appears to be doubling-down with no end in sight for the waste of time and money.”

The conservation coalition includes Living Rivers, Waterkeeper Alliance, Green River Action Network, Conserve Southwest Utah, Upper Green River Network, Wildearth Guardians, and Center for Biological Diversity.

“The conservation community has dug in its heels on this fight,” continued Wockner. “Attempts to further drain the already threatened and depleted Colorado River will be vigorously opposed.”

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