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Water Quality Rollback Stopped, Issues Unresolved (CO)

Posted: 06/18/2021
By: Kestrel Kunz

At 5pm tonight, Colorado’s Water Quality Control Commission voted not to rollback the antidegradation rule that has for decades helped to keep our rivers clean. However, they did uphold their ability to make arbitrary decisions on polluting Colorado’s waterways - like they did on the South Platte in 2020 - for the next ten years. The outcome followed a two-day hearing earlier this week, during which the antidegradation rule was discussed at length. 


Over 4,800 individuals and business owners signed petitions to the Commission, 200 written comments were submitted, and nearly 60 people showed up to speak at the Commission's June 14th hearing opposing the rollback of the antidegradation rule.


Despite impressive and heartfelt public comments asking the Commission to revisit its arbitrary decision to further degrade the South Platte and Clear Creek last year, the Commission refused to listen and further cemented its ability to make similar decisions for the next ten years. As a result of tonight’s vote, the section of the rule in question that gives the Commission discretion to allow stream pollution without review would be repealed effective on December 31, 2031. 


While we still have a long road ahead, Coloradans were able to stop what would have been an atrocious rollback of protections for Colorado’s beloved streams. Thank you to those that stood up and took action to protect Colorado's water quality! 


Click here to read The Colorado Sun's coverage on this issue. 

Kestrel Kunz

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South Platte CO
South Platte CO


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