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Comments on Denver Water's 1041 Application to Boulder County Due November 13th!

Nov 6, 2020
Areas and Activities of State Interest (1041) Permit Application

Our team has been hard at work analyzing Denver Water's 1041 Permit Application. It is somewhat remarkable that even at 354 pages the application is deficient in so many ways. We want Boulder County to refuse the application until it is complete. Here are links for your reference:

Comments should be emailed to Boulder County at AND at  Feel free to cut and paste from the talking points below - or do your own research looking through the links above and write what inspires you.

We need as many people as possible to write, letting the commissioners know that their constituents are paying attention to this and demand that they rigidly apply the county's 1041 regulations. NUMBERS COUNT! Every response is important. The talking points below are specific to the actual application but feel free to add your own stories about why this matters to you.

Here are your talking points - please write today!

This looks like a LOT of information to wade through but please read through it - it's really pretty simple to understand.

Leading statement to the Boulder County Commissioners: Denver Water's 1041 application is incomplete. Until such time as an application is submitted that complies with the Boulder County Land Use Code and addresses all deficiencies, Boulder County must not consider this application or deem it complete, and must return it to Denver Water for clarification and completion.

Specific issues with the application:

First: The 1041 application requests a “waiver” in Section 8-503 stating that it doesn’t have to comply with Section 8-308.A.4 of the Boulder County Land Use Code.

Denver Water claims that the application is not a “site selection and construction of major facilities of a public utility.” Denver Water is incorrect, and therefore must comply with this section of the Land Use Code.

Second: Denver Water’s 1041 application completely fails to provide numerous “plans” about how they will construct the expansion and operate the expanded facility. In fact, the vast majority of the application simply refers to “plans” that don’t yet exist which are required to exist and to be complete to comply with the Boulder County Land Use Code, including:

  • Tree Removal Plan

  • Quarry Operation Plan

  • Pit Development and Reclamation Plan

  • Stormwater Management Plan

  • Erosion Control Reclamation Plan

  • Invasive Plant and Noxious Weed Species Management Plan

  • Fire Management and Response Plan

  • Special Status Plants Relocation Plan

  • Aquatic Invasive Species Monitoring PlanTraffic Management Plan

  • Fugitive Dust Control Plan

  • Recreation Management Plan

  • Visual Resources Protection Plan

  • Historic Properties Management Plan

  • South Boulder Creek Channel Stability and Monitoring PlanRoad Management Plan (USFS)

  • Road Maintenance Plan

  • Restoration and Revegetation Plans

  • Special Status Plants Relocation Plan

  • Reclamation and Revegetation Seed Mixes and Mulch Materials Plan

  • Emergency Action Plan

  • Recreation Adaptive Management Plan for Winiger Ridge

Boulder County cannot consider this application when these plans have not been completed. Without the plans, the application does not comply with Section “8-511 Standards for Approval of a Permit Application” of the Land Use Code.

Third: Throughout the application, Denver Water defers to analysis and conclusions in the Army Corps’ Environmental Impact Statement process including the Final EIS and Record of Decision which have numerous errors and are under dispute and litigation in federal district court in Denver. For example:

  • The Corps Record of Decision violates the National Environmental Policy Act:

    • The “Purpose and Need” in the EIS is not accurate and must be redone.

    • The “Alternatives” analysis in the EIS is not accurate and must be redone.

    • The EIS did not analyze cumulative impacts, climate change, or a Compact Call on the Colorado River associated with, or caused by, the project.

  • The Corps Record of Decision violated the Clean Water Act:

    • The Corps failed to choose the “Least Environmentally Damaging Practicable Alternative” (LEDPA).

    • The full cost of the project was not considered in choosing the LEDPA.

  • The Corps Record of Decision violated the Endangered Species Act by failing to adequately consider and analyze the impacts on the green lineage cutthroat trout.

Fourth: Throughout the application Denver Water defers to analysis and conclusions in the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission’s license amendment process which has numerous errors including:

  • Failed to use an adequate alternatives analysis.

  • Failed to adequately consider impacts to aquatic biology and water quality in Gross Reservoir and downstream in South Boulder Creek.

Fifth: The application fails to comply with the Boulder Valley Comprehensive Plan.

Sixth: The application violates Boulder County Land Use Code Section 8-511.C.2.a, which requires the conservation and the full utilization of existing municipal water supplies.

Seventh: The application violates Boulder County Land Use Code 8-511.I.2 because it is not compatible with resource preservation and does not minimize resource damage.

Eighth: The application violates Boulder County Land Use Code Section 8-511.J.1 because the project is a danger to public health or safety or to property.

Ninth: The application violates Boulder County Land Use Code Section 8-511.J.2, which requires compatibility with existing traffic volumes.

We need EVERYONE to send in comments - the important focus right now is the NUMBER and PASSION of commenters. YOU can help right now with a simple E-mail!  

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