Review of Flaming Gorge Pipeline in Transition
On Thursday, July 14th, the Army Corps of Engineers cancelled their environmental review of a massive pipeline from the Flaming Gorge Reservoir to the Front Range of Colorado known as the Regional Watershed Supply Project or Flaming Gorge Pipeline. The Project, proposed by Aaron Million and the Million Conservation Resource Group (MCRG), involves building a 560-mile long pipeline to divert 250,000 acre-feet of water each year from the Green River to provide additional water supply to Colorado’s Front Range and Wyoming. The Army Corps cancelled review of the project because the intent of the project was uncertain, the permit application was incomplete, and many claims in the project were not backed by the facts on the ground.
In 2009, the Army Corps began conducting an environmental review of the project, and halted their work earlier this spring when Million began to talk about adding hydropower to the proposal. MCRG was given until July 5th to respond with further information about the project, but failed to do so. The day after the Army Corps cancelled the review, Million addressed the media to say that he had decided to switch venues because his project involved hydropower, which is regulated under the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), and in order to speed up the environmental review process. To date, Million has not filed anything on the FERC docket.
The pipeline is a bad idea – diverting 250,000 acre-feet would reduce flows in the Green River, harming whitewater recreation opportunities below Flaming Gorge Dam and the local economies that thrive because of them. Reduced flows would also harm the habitat for four endangered fish species, a world-class trout fishery, and other aquatic life.
We’ll need your continued support to protect flows in the Green River from the Flaming Gorge Pipeline if it is filed with FERC, and American Whitewater will continue to track the issue and keep you updated. Stay tuned for opportunities to make your voice heard.