The Colorado Department of Transportation (CDOT) is performing construction and repair work in Boulder Canyon on State Highway 119 from Boulder to Nederland. The project is meant to repair damage done during the 2013 flood and provide an expansion of bike and hiking trails adjacent to the highway. The Boulder Waterkeeper expressed concerns about this project via a formal letter to CDOT that focused on impact to fish spawning and sediment loading into Boulder Creek. CDOT has failed to formally respond to these concerns. Boulder Waterkeeper has made several observations while driving in Boulder Canyon and noted poor installations of sediment control measures that are not in accordance to CDOT specifications. Pictures were provided to CDOT during a meeting and also sent to the CDOT Project Hotline for corrective action. Follow up observations are planned by throughout the year long project Boulder Waterkeeper to ensure stream protection.
Boulder Waterkeeper has scheduled a Waterkeeper Forum event on Monday June 10, 2019 from 6:00pm to 8:00pm at the main Boulder Library on Arapahoe. The key focus will be on E.coli in Boulder Creek and the risks and plans by the City of Boulder, Boulder County and the University of Colorado to address the impaired status of the Creek. The format will be introductions and 15 minute presentations by each stakeholder. Question and answers will follow the presentations and representatives from the EPA and CDPHE will be available.
The Waterkeeper Alliance submitted extensive comments regarding Executive Order 13778 proposing a redefinition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS) for the Clean Water Act. Comments from the Waterkeeper Alliance, fourteen US states, the District of Columbia and multiple advocacy groups and individuals all illustrating legal, economic and health challenges to the potential removal of environmental protections from ephemeral streams, canals and ditches, artificial ponds and lakes, isolated wetlands and interstate waters. Comments are being reviewed and a final rule and legal challenges are expected in late 2018.
Boulder Waterkeeper submits provides guest opinion on the Trump administration’s proposed executive order redefining the definition of the Waters of the United States (WOTUS). The Boulder Creek watershed is at risk for losing protections for mountain ephemeral streams, Community ditch seepage from Marshall Landfill and discharges and coal ash in Leggett Reservoir.
Boulder Waterkeeper leads discussion on E.coli impairment of Boulder Creek. Watershed Advocate Art Hirsch identifies health risks to the community and challenges local governments to lead the efforts to improve stream water quality.
Following a crowded four hour public hearing the Boulder County Commissioners unanimously voted to require a review of the Gross Reservoir Dam expansion project under Article 8 (1041 Review) of the Boulder County Land Use Code. As a part of this process the County will conduct public hearings and complete a staff review and maintains that Denver Water will require a permit prior to beginning any construction efforts.
Boulder County has scheduled a public hearing for comments on Denver Water’s Gross Reservoir expansion on March 14th at the Boulder County Courthouse. The county has claimed the need to conduct a 1041 local government land use review. Denver Water disagrees. Registration for individuals who wish to provide comments opens on February 14th.
Boulder Waterkeeper Watershed Advocate Art Hirsch guest opinion published in Boulder Daily Camera. With an executive order changing the definition of the Waters of the United States, or WOTUS, upstream tributaries, marshes and wetlands will no longer be protected from pollutant discharges and filling. This action could impact the Boulder Creek Watershed and other watersheds’ ability to contain, filter and removed pollutants.
The opinion strongly urges individuals to contact their representatives and resist this unfortunate and inappropriate action by the Trump administration.
The United States Environmental Protection Agency is attempting to remove selected portions of the Clean Water Act. This action would removed water quality protection to upper watershed tributaries, marshes and wetlands (not directly adjacent to waterways) and ephemeral streams. Protection to over 1/3 of existing wetlands will be eliminated. This actions will essentially change the definition of Waters of the United States.
Art Hirsch (Boulder Waterkeeper Advocate) participated in a lobbying effort organized by Environment America to lobby the following representatives not to approve this Clean Water repeal:
Wind power capacity in the US has tripled since 2008 to 82,183 megawatts and now exceeds the capacity of conventional hydroelectric power of 78,956 according to an article in the New York Times from 2017.