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For Immediate Release
April 22, 2014
Denver Water’s Moffat Project FEIS Released — a Lose-Lose Boondoggle
Denver, CO – Today the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers made available online the much-awaited Final Environmental Impact Statement (FEIS) for Denver Water’s Moffat Collection System Project (Moffat Project). The FEIS is available here. The Moffat Project proposes to drain even more water from the headwaters of the already endangered Colorado River, including the Fraser River, and pump that water through a tunnel under the Continental Divide from Grand County to the Denver area. The siphoned flows would flood unique natural areas of rural Boulder County in a greatly enlarged Gross Dam and Reservoir before being piped to the sprawling lawns and suburbs in Denver Water’s service area.
The FEIS may be the public’s best opportunity to understand the costs and impacts of this massive scheme and to make their voices heard. The $360-million, 18,000-acre-foot project has so-far faced a headwind of controversy through the multi-year permitting process and is likely to be contested for years into the future.
Statements from opponents of the project:
“Denver Water proposes to spend an extraordinary amount of money to further drain the Colorado River and destroy the quality of life in rural Boulder County, all to slake the thirst of Kentucky Bluegrass in our semi-arid climate. Instead of raising water rates to perpetuate this unsustainable behavior, let’s ditch the Moffat Project and focus on a real and collaborative solution: conservation.” – Chris Garre, Director of The Environmental Group of Boulder County and a resident near Gross Dam
“Denver Water’s Moffat Project is a gross disappointment — it’s bad for the river, bad for West Slope ranchers and farmers, and bad for Grand County. Our headwater rivers and streams are already severely depleted and will not survive more strangling by Denver Water. This project should be stopped in its tracks.” — Geoff Elliott, Grand County scientist and resident
“The Moffat expansion is far from a done deal. This project should not be approved unless the long-term health of the river is assured and our nation’s environmental standards are met. We and our partners are committed to keeping the Colorado River flowing.” – McCrystie Adams, Senior Attorney, Earthjustice office in Denver
“The Colorado River is endangered from the source to the sea – its flows are depleted or drained, its habitat is suffering, its endangered fish are on the brink of survival – this river has already given more than it can. The extremely controversial Moffat Project will face intense scrutiny and analysis in the coming months and years.” — Gary Wockner, Coordinator for the Save The Colorado River Campaign.
The Army Corps of Engineers is expected to open an official public comment period starting Friday, April 25, 2014. A full scientific review of the project by opponents is forthcoming.