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For Immediate Release
June 7, 2019
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Save The Colorado “Motions To Intervene” To Defend Boulder County Against Denver Water
Boulder County, Colorado: Today, Save The Colorado and The Environmental Group (TEG) filed a “Motion to Intervene” in the lawsuit that Denver Water is waging against Boulder County about the massive proposed expansion of Gross Dam in southwestern Boulder County (the motion is posted here). Back in March of this year, the Boulder County Commissioners voted unanimously to force Denver Water through the County’s permitting process, and Denver Water turned right around and sued Boulder County.
The motion is “supported” by Boulder County, and is “not opposed” by Denver Water.
“As non-profit citizen groups with over a thousand supporters here in Boulder County, state law give us the right and responsibility to try to intervene in this lawsuit to help defend Boulder County,” said Gary Wockner, Director of Save The Colorado. “We hope that the Boulder County District Court allows our intervention, and we believe we have a right to be a party in this case.”
Members of Save The Colorado and TEG would be directly harmed if Gross Dam is expanded because the massive construction project would cause such harms to people, property, and the environment, including:
- inundating a substantial area of forest lands,
- noise pollution due to the 5-year construction project which would be the biggest construction project in Boulder County history,
- air pollution including by the presence of toxic coal ash which will be used as a dam construction material,
- travel hazards due to thousands of semi-tractor/trailer trips along the curvy mountain roads up to the dam construction site,
- the clear-cutting of over 200,000 trees, turning the reservoir area into a denuded wasteland with fluctuating water levels,
- impacts to wildlife migration and habitat,
- disturbance for the many Boulder County residents and visitors who recreate on the existing reservoir, in the surrounding Boulder County Open Space and National Forest lands, and along South Boulder Creek,
- impairment of the fishery in South Boulder Creek through Walker Ranch,
- negative impacts on the home values and quality of life of nearby residents,
- and the marring of Boulder County’s reputation as an environmentally pro-active and responsible community and recreational paradise.
“Boulder County has stood up strongly and loudly against the bully Denver Water in an effort to protect Boulder County’s environment, residents, and property owners, and so we are standing up to help defend Boulder County against this abuse,” said Wockner said.
For over 10 years, the citizens of Boulder County have shown resolve in the fight to stop the Gross Dam expansion: Two hearings at the Boulder County Commissioners office – one in 2013 and another in March of 2019 – have been attended by hundreds of citizens; a few thousand emails have been sent to the Boulder County Commissioners by county citizens; and citizens have banded together to provide funding to fight against Denver Water’s ridiculous proposed project. In 2018, Save The Colorado and five co-plaintiffs filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers for permitting the project.