PRESS RELEASE: FERC moves forward with hydro project near Lake Powell, Conservation groups vow to fight
FERC moves forward with pumped storage hydro project near Lake Powell Conservation groups vow to…
For Immediate Release
March 29, 2017
Contact: Gary Wockner, Save The Colorado, 970-218-8310
Colorado River, USA: This week, Save The Colorado sent a letter to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) stating that the Corps must do a “Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement” (SEIS) for Denver Water’s “Moffat Collection System Project” due to a tripling of the price of the project in just 3 years.
In the Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) in 2014, Denver Water estimated the capital construction for the proposed massive dam expansion in Boulder County, Colorado, would cost $139.9 million. Just a few weeks ago, Denver Water revised the estimate to be $380 million plus another $113 million for “debt service” and another $15 million for “operations/maintenance.” Save The Colorado’s letter is posted here.
“The ratepayers of Denver appear to be getting reamed,” said Gary Wockner, director of the Save The Colorado River Campaign.
Further, the FEIS supposedly did an entire “alternatives analysis” that screened out alternatives based on the estimated cost of $139.9 million. Alternatives including conservation, water reuse and recycling, and constructing new pipelines — as alternatives to the massive expansion of the current dam — were all partly screened out as being too expensive.
“The Corps needs to do an SEIS that redoes the screening analysis,” said Gary Wockner. “As it is, the Corps has violated federal law by using dramatically different costs for the EIS than the actual cost of the project.”
The proposed Moffat Project would dramatically expand Gross Dam in Boulder County, Colorado, increasing its height another 131 feet, and would force another 15,000 acre feet of water (~5 billion gallons) to be diverted from the Colorado River over to the sprawling Denver metropolis every year. The project would be a massive construction project in Boulder County that would cause serious negative impacts to the Colorado River as well as to homeowners and recreationists in the environmental stronghold of Boulder County.
Save The Colorado and a coalition of green groups have inserted numerous technical documents into the EIS process.