Missouri River Water Management News

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Permit decisions scheduled for 2016 on two Colorado Front Range Water resource projects

Published Nov. 4, 2015
OMAHA, NE - Permit decisions for Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System Project, and the Municipal Subdistrict of the Northern Colorado Water Conservancy District’s Windy Gap Firming Project have been rescheduled for release in 2016. Both projects propose to divert water from the upper Colorado River to the Colorado Front Range.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers’ Section 404 Clean Water Act permit decisions were originally scheduled for release in late 2015, but coordination with other Federal, Tribal, State, and local agencies is on-going for these complex water supply proposals. Issues related to water quality, endangered species, cultural resources, and mitigation are still being discussed. 

Coordination with various entities will serve as a basis for the Corps’ decisions on whether to issue or deny Clean Water Act Section 404 Permits for the proposals. The Corps’ decisions will be in the form of records of decision, which will conclude the National Environmental Policy Act evaluation process for both projects.

In 2014, the Corps released a Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Moffat Project, Denver Water’s proposal to expand the existing Gross Reservoir, with the purpose of providing decision-makers and the public with information pertaining to the proposed project and alternatives, and to disclose impacts and identify mitigation measures to reduce impacts. The Corps is charged with the responsibility of impartially reviewing Denver Water’s and the Municipal Subdistrict’s proposals in light of environmental and other Federal laws. 

In 2011, The Bureau of Reclamation released a Final EIS for the Windy Gap Firming Project, proposed by the Municipal Subdistrict. The Corps acted as a cooperating agency to Reclamation during the study process.

Rena Brand
Kiel Downing

Release no. 20151104-001