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Poudre River Dams Delayed
Posted By admin On May 23, 2011 @ 5:11 pm In Guest column | Comments Disabled
Press Release: Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper
Fort Collins, CO — On Monday May 23, 2011, Chandler Peter from the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers confirmed that the permitting processes for the Northern Integrated Supply Project (NISP) and other proposed dams and reservoirs on the Poudre River (Halligan and Seaman) have been delayed yet again, now for the third time.
The initial release for the Supplemental Draft Environmental Impact Statement (SDEIS) for NISP was supposed to be in June of 2010, and was initially delayed until the summer of 2011, and then delayed again until the latter part of 2011, and has now been delayed “into 2012″ with “no refined ETA for the SDEIS” according to an email from Mr. Peter to Save the Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper today (below).
Additionally, the first draft of the EIS for the new Halligan (Fort Collins) and Seaman (Greeley) dams and reservoirs on the North Fork of the Poudre was slated for the summer of 2011, but then was delayed for a half year after the release of the NISP SDEIS, which will now put them into 2012 or 2013. All three projects are tied together due to their negative impacts on the Cache la Poudre River. NISP, alone, would drain between 46.5% to 71.3% of the water out of the Poudre River through downtown Fort Collins in May, June, and July an average year.
“Every delay and corresponding cost escalation is yet another opportunity for NISP communities to invest in alternatives,” said Gary Wockner of Save the Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper. “We believe that water conservation, cooperating with farmers, and projects that don’t dam or drain the Poudre River would be cheaper, faster, and easier, and would help guarantee water supply security for northern Colorado.”
NISP is now over 6 years late and at least $150 million over budget.
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper opposes NISP and has proposed a “Healthy Rivers Alternative” to the project. This alternative would be cheaper, better for farms, better for the river, and could be implemented immediately. The summary of the Alternative is here: http://poudreriver.home.comcast.net/~poudreriver/Healthy_Rivers_Alternative.pdf 
Today’s email from Mr. Peter is copied below:
——– Original Message ——–
Subject: RE: another NISP SDEIS delay? (UNCLASSIFIED)
Date: Mon, 23 May 2011 13:38:36 -0500
From: Peter, Chandler J NWO
To: firstname.lastname@example.org 
There has been schedule movement which will push the release date of the SDEIS for NISP into 2012 and move the Halligan and Seaman Water Supply Projects DEIS further back as well. Additional work has been accomplished concerning a number of factors that are the subject of the Common Technical Platform. There is no refined ETA for the SDEIS or DEIS.
NEPA EIS/404b1 Coordinator
Regulatory Branch – Omaha District
Save The Poudre: Poudre Waterkeeper is a coalition of 20 national, state, and regional groups including: Waterkeeper Alliance, National Wildlife Federation, River Network, Clean Water Action, Wild Earth Guardians, the Xerces Society, Defenders of Wildlife, American Rivers, American Whitewater Association, Western Resource Advocates, Colorado Environmental Coalition, Lighthawk, Environment Colorado, Sierra Club – Rocky Mountain Chapter, Fort Collins Audubon Society, Citizen Planners, Wolverine Farm Publishing, Poudre Paddlers, Friends of the Poudre, and the Cache la Poudre River Foundation.
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