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BREAKING NEWS: Denver Water files lawsuit against Boulder County

Jul 15, 2021

On Wednesday, July 14th, Denver Water sued Boulder County in U.S. District Court claiming that Boulder is trying to delay the expansion of Gross Reservoir. Boulder County staff are working to determine whether the lawsuit changes the public process for reviewing the project, including the public hearings tentatively scheduled this summer and fall.

A Daily Camera article is here.

A Colorado Sun article is here

Some highlights:

Denver Water stated in a press release that “Boulder County is endangering the project through delays, repeated and expanding requests for information — information demands that duplicate the already completed federal permitting process in which Boulder County participated — the potential for months of additional hearings and the fact that two of the county’s three commissioners have already publicly stated their opposition to, and desire to stop, the expansion project.”

Ben Perlman, Boulder County Attorney stated that “Denver Water’s new lawsuit comes as a surprise because just two weeks ago, county staff informed Denver Water that the county had scheduled hearings in front of the Boulder County Planning Commission in August and the Board of County Commissioners in September, despite Denver Water’s unwillingness to provide all the information County staff had requested.”

Gary Wockner, Director of Save the Colorado, said his organization strongly opposes the permit because the group finds it to be incomplete and full of errors. But Save The Colorado does agree with the county’s ability to request more information from Denver Water. “The county does have the right to ask for more analysis,” Wockner said. “We support the county 100% in their interpretation of their own land use code. We’ll see what the commissioners do when it comes time to make a decision."

Beverly Kurtz, President of The Environmental Group and the Save Boulder County campaign, said the organizations she represents “applaud the diligence” of Boulder County staff in requiring Denver Water to comply with the county’s 1041 regulations. “Once again, Denver Water has been arrogant in their refusal to provide current, complete data to justify their plan to undertake the largest, most destructive construction project in the history of Boulder County,” Kurtz said in a statement. “The current drought, exacerbated by worsening climate change, shows this egregious project to be an outdated mistake, and we will continue to fight to stop it at every juncture.”

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