US Army Corps of Engineers
Omaha District

Denver Regulatory Office

The Department of the Army Regulatory Program is one of the oldest in the Federal Government. Initially it served a fairly simple, straightforward purpose: to protect and maintain the navigable capacity of the nation's waters. Time, changing public needs, evolving policy, case law and new statutory mandates have changed the complexion of the program, adding to its breadth, complexity and authority.

The Regulatory Program is committed to protecting the Nation's aquatic resources, while allowing reasonable development through fair, flexible and balanced permit decisions. The Corps evaluates permit applications for essentially all construction activities in the Nation's waters, including wetlands.

9307 South Wadsworth Blvd | Littleton | Colorado | 80128-6901 | Ph: 303-979-4120 | Fax: 303-979-0602 

Regulatory Announcement

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The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has published in the federal register the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and conceptual mitigation plan for the Halligan Water Supply Project, a water supply project located in Larimer County, Colorado, proposed by the City of Fort Collins Utilities.  

The Corps is evaluating an application and conceptual mitigation plan from Fort Collins for a Department of the Army permit for the Halligan Project and prepared the Draft EIS in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act to provide decision-makers and the public with information pertaining to the Halligan Project and disclose environmental impacts of the alternatives.  It also provides information for local and state agencies having jurisdictional responsibility for affected resources.  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Region VIII, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Bureau of Land Management, Colorado Department of Natural Resources, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and Larimer County participated as cooperating agencies in the development of the Draft EIS.  The Corps is neither a proponent nor an opponent of the proposed project.  

Fort Collins proposes to enlarge the existing Halligan Reservoir located about 25 miles northwest of Fort Collins on the North Fork of the Poudre River in Larimer County, Colorado.  Fort Collins proposes to raise Halligan Dam by 25.4 feet to enlarge Halligan Reservoir from its current capacity of 6,400 acre-feet to approximately 14,525 acre-feet to provide about 7,900 acre-feet of additional annual firm yield to meet Fort Collins’ projected 2065 municipal and industrial water demands.  The existing reservoir surface area is approximately 253 acres; the proposed enlargement would result in a surface area of approximately 386 acres.

Halligan Dam is a concrete arch dam built more than 100 years ago and will require rehabilitation in the near future to address safety risks.  These safety risks would be addressed by Fort Collins under their proposed action during enlargement of the dam.  Under the project alternatives, ownership of the dam and responsibility for rehabilitation would revert to the North Poudre Irrigation Company.

Under Fort Collins’ proposed action, Halligan Reservoir would continue to be filled with direct flows from the North Fork.  Releases would be made to the North Fork downstream of the dam and would flow through Seaman Reservoir to the confluence with the Cache la Poudre River.  From there, water would be exchanged up to Fort Collins’ intake or to the Monroe Canal intake and delivered to Fort Collins’ water treatment facility through the Pleasant Valley Pipeline.  

Under the proposed action, Fort Collins would maintain a minimum flow of five cubic feet per second in the North Fork from May 1 to September 30, a minimum flow of three cubic feet per second the remainder of the year, and forego all diversions to the enlarged Halligan Reservoir for the three days that coincide with the forecasted peak runoff flow event for the North Fork.

The Draft EIS also evaluates the effects of several alternatives to Fort Collins’ proposed action, including the No-Action Alternative, the Expanded Glade Alternative, the Gravel Pits Alternative, and the Agricultural Reservoirs Alternative.

The Corps’ decision on whether or not to issue a permit will be based on an evaluation of the probable impacts, including cumulative impacts, of the proposed project and its alternatives on the public interest.  The decision will reflect the national concern for both protection and use of important resources.  The benefits that may reasonably be expected to accrue from the proposal must be balanced against the reasonably foreseeable detriments.  All factors that may be relevant to the proposal will be considered including the cumulative effects thereof; among those are conservation, economics, aesthetics, wetlands, fish and wildlife values, flood hazards, floodplain values, land use, navigation, shoreline erosion and accretion, recreation, water supply and conservation, energy needs, safety, food and fiber production, mineral needs, considerations of property ownership and, in general, the needs and welfare of the people.  

The Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation plan are available for review on our website at:  http://www.nwo.usace.army.mil/Missions/Regulatory-Program/Colorado/EIS-Halligan

Printed copies of the Draft EIS are available for review at the following libraries and offices:

  • Colorado State University Morgan Library, 1201 Center Avenue, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523
  • Poudre River Public Library District-Old Town Library, 201 Peterson Street, Fort Collins, Colorado 80524
  • Poudre River Public Library-Harmony Library, 4616 South Shields Street, Fort Collins, Colorado 80526
  • University of Northern Colorado, James A. Michener Library, 14th Avenue and 20th Street, Greeley, Colorado 80639
  • U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80128

The Corps is soliciting written comments on the Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation planfrom the public; federal, state, and local agencies and officials; Native American Tribes; and other interested parties.  

On January 13, 2020, the Corps is holding a public hearing regarding the Department of the Army Permit application and Draft EIS for the Halligan Project. The public hearing will be at the Drake Centre at 802 West Drake Road in Fort Collins, Colorado.  From 5:30 to 7:00 p.m., the public may view various posters on the issues and ask questions of representatives of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, their contractors, and Fort Collins.  From 7:00 to 8:30 p.m., public officials or individuals wishing to make a public statement to the Corps will be given three minutes each to speak.

All written comments on the Draft EIS and conceptual mitigation plan must be submitted to the mailing address listed below or to email address NWO.HalliganEIS@usace.army.mil by January 26, 2020. Additional information about the application, Draft EIS, or conceptual mitigation plan may be obtained by contacting Mr. Cody Wheeler, Regulatory Project Manager at the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, 9307 South Wadsworth Boulevard, Littleton, Colorado 80128; at telephone 720-922-3846; or via email at cody.s.wheeler@usace.army.mil.

On January 6, 2017, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers (Corps) published the notice in the Federal Register announcing the reissuance of all existing nationwide permits (NWPs), general conditions, and definitions with some modifications.  The NWPs became effective on March 19, 2017, and will expire on March 18, 2022.

Certain NWPs require project proponents to notify Corps district engineers of their proposed activities prior to conducting regulated activities, so that the district engineers can make case-specific determinations of NWP eligibility.  The notification takes the form of a pre-construction notification (PCN).  The purpose of a PCN is to give the district engineer an opportunity to review a proposed NWP activity (generally 45 days after receipt of a complete PCN) to ensure that the proposed activity qualifies for NWP authorization.  More information on when an activity requires a PCN can be found in the Federal Register Notice:

https://www.govinfo.gov/content/pkg/FR-2017-01-06/pdf/2016-31355.pdf

In some Corps districts, division engineers have imposed regional conditions on certain NWPs to help ensure that those NWP only authorize activities with no more than minimal adverse environmental effects in a particular region.  Those regional conditions may add PCN requirements to one or more NWPs.  Prospective permittees that want to use one or more NWPs to authorize their proposed activities should contact the appropriate Corps district or view its web page to determine if there are additional NWP activities that require PCNs on a regional basis.

To assist applicants in providing complete information needed for NWP evaluations, a PCN application form was created and approved by the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) in February of 2019.  The use of this form is strongly encouraged to assist Corps districts with a streamlined evaluation of an applicant’s proposal.  Having a complete application form will reduce the need for additional information requests and should reduce the amount of time it takes the district engineer to conclude his or her review.  Instructions on how to complete the PCN application form can be found at the end of the form.

Please note not all Corps Regulatory offices will use this form, as some districts have joint federal and state application reviews and use forms created specifically for that purpose.  Please refer to your local Corps district office webpage for more information on which form should be used.  A map to help you find your local Corps office website can be found at:

http://regulatory-ops.s3-website-us-east-1.amazonaws.com/

Information on the preferred form to use will be noted on the districts’ website.  The Corps can still accept information provided on other forms, however use of the PCN form for NWPs is strongly encouraged and will expedite the evaluation of your application.

The link to the ENG 6082 form has been updated and can be found at:  ENG 6082 Form download.

On September 12, 2019, the Environmental Protection Agency and Department of the Army (the agencies) signed a final rule to repeal the 2015 Clean Water Rule (2015 Rule) and re-codify the regulatory text defining "waters of the United States" (WOTUS) that existed prior to the 2015 Rule. This action will, when effective, provide regulatory certainty as to the definition of “waters of the United States” in light of ongoing litigation over the 2015 Rule. This final rule will be implemented in accordance with Supreme Court decisions, agency guidance, and longstanding practice.

This final rule follows the February 28, 2017, Presidential Executive Order on "Restoring the Rule of Law, Federalism, and Economic Growth by Reviewing the 'Waters of the United States' Rule." The February Order states that it is in the national interest to ensure that the Nation's navigable waters are kept free from pollution, while at the same time promoting economic growth, minimizing regulatory uncertainty, and showing due regard for the roles of Congress and the States under the Constitution. To meet these objectives, the agencies have followed a two-step rulemaking process.  Today’s final rule is the first step of that process (Step 1 Final Rule).  It was first proposed on July 27, 2017, with a supplemental proposal on June 29, 2018, and received 770,000 public comments.  The Step 1 Final Rule provides regulatory certainty by removing the patchwork of regulations that existed across the country as a result of various judicial decision enjoining the 2015 Rule, and it reestablishes national consistency across the country by returning all jurisdictions to the longstanding regulatory framework that existed prior to the 2015 Rule, which is more familiar to the agencies, States, Tribes, local governments, regulated entities, and the public.

The Step 1 Final Rule provides the aforementioned regulatory certainty while the agencies engage in the second step of rulemaking to revise the definition of WOTUS.  The second step, or the Step 2 Proposed Rule, was published in the Federal Register on February 14, 2019, and the public comment period closed on April 15, 2019.  The agencies are currently reviewing over 600,000 public comments before taking final action.

More information regarding the WOTUS rulemaking can be found at EPA’s website:  https://www.epa.gov/wotus-rule.  If you have specific questions regarding this Step 1 Final Rule, please contact a local Corps District office or EPA Regional office. 

Colorado Regulatory Offices

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Omaha District
9307 South Wadsworth Blvd.
Littleton, CO 80128
(303) 979-4120

Albuquerque District
1970 East 3rd Avenue, Suite 109
Durango, CO 81301-5025
(970) 259-1582

Colorado West Regulatory Branch
Sacramento District
1970 East 3rd Avenue, Suite 109
Durango, CO 81301-5025
(970) 259-1604

Sacramento District
400 Rood Avenue, Room 224
Grand Junction, CO 81501
(970) 243-1199

Southern Colorado Regulatory Office
Albuquerque District
200 South Santa Fe Ave., Suite 301
Pueblo, CO 81003
(719) 543-9459

The US Army Corps of Engineers, Denver Regulatory Office, through the Regulatory Program, administers and enforces Section 404 of the Clean Water Act (CWA) in the Omaha District portion of Colorado (See map below). Under CWA Section 404, a permit is required for the discharge of dredged or fill material into waters of the United States. Many waterbodies and wetlands in the nation are waters of the United States and are subject to the Corps' regulatory authority.

Colorado Regulatory News

Halligan Water Supply Project draft environmental impact statement published
11/22/2019
The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers, Omaha District has published in the federal register the Draft Environmental Impact Statement and conceptual mitigation plan for the Halligan Water Supply Project, a...

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