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Federal Lawsuit Dismissed, but Project NOT a Done Deal

Apr 7, 2021
By Beverly Kurtz

For details about the recent dismissal of our lawsuit in Federal District Court, please see this article in Colorado Politics. There is also additional information in this Boulder Daily Camera article. The decision, which can be read here, states that the U.S. District Court does not have jurisdiction in this case, since the Federal Power Act gives the Federal Court of Appeals exclusive jurisdiction over challenges to a Federal Energy Regulatory Commission licensing decision. 

We still feel that we have a strong case at the federal level, and if we decide to appeal, we are hopeful that the Federal Court of Appeals will be open to considering the merits of our case. We will keep everyone informed on how we might move forward on that.

This loss does, however, highlight the critical role the Boulder County Commissioners play in all of this. There is absolute precedence in Colorado for counties to be able to control development proposed by entities beyond their boundaries. For example, Eagle County used the 1041 permitting process to reject construction permits in a water case when Colorado Springs proposed the Homestake II Project - and their decision was upheld by the Colorado Court of Appeals.

It is critical that we keep the pressure on the Boulder County Commissioners to insist that they use all the power they have with 1041 to stop this insidious project. We should know in the next month how they will respond to Denver Water's updated 1041 application. Public comments are still being accepted during the entire duration of the review process so if you haven't written yet, please consider doing so. Comments may be submitted by emailing Boulder County at AND at

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