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PRESS RELEASE: Denver Water Required to do New NEPA Analysis for Half-Baked Gross Dam Expansion Scheme

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

Denver Water Required to do New NEPA Analysis for Half-Baked Gross Dam Expansion Scheme

Boulder County, CO: On Oct. 17th, the US Forest Service (USFS) notified Denver Water that USFS is requiring a new National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) analysis for the Gross Dam expansion. After Denver Water told USFS that the water utility needed to do new “exploratory drilling” and more “roadbuilding” on USFS land to expand the  “Osprey Point Quarry”, which is where most of the rock material for the new massive dam would come from, USFS told Denver Water that new NEPA analysis was required (read the letter from USFS here).

“The construction plan for the Gross Dam expansion appears to have been somewhat half-baked,” said Gary Wockner of Save The Colorado. “If Denver Water could not properly estimate how much rock material they needed to build a massive new dam, what other mistakes have they made?”

The Forest Service letter states that Denver Water’s initial request for exploratory drilling and roadbuilding was “insufficient”, and Denver Water must now adhere to a new “at least three year plan” to “meet all the laws, regulations, and policies to which the agency (USFS) must adhere to.” This obviously means the Gross Dam expansion will now last and/or be delayed even longer and have even more negative environmental impacts on the surrounding public lands.

“We encourage the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and/or the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission to put a halt to the construction activities at Gross Dam in order for the public to engage around this new multi-year permitting process with the USFS,” said Wockner. “Continuing to wreck the natural environment in Boulder County, and continuing to plan to further drain the Colorado River, for a project that needs more analysis to meet ‘laws, regulations, and policies’ of the federal government makes no sense.”

This press release is posted here.



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