Fountain Creek: Colorado Springs Utilities takes a $35,500 hit in lawsuit over spills

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From The Pueblo Chieftain (Robert Boczkiewicz):

The penalty was the only sanction in a long-awaited decision in a lawsuit the Sierra Club brought in 2005 against the city for violating the federal Clean Water Act. Senior U.S. District Judge Walker Miller denied Sierra’s request to order Colorado Springs to take specific actions designed to reduce spills of pollutants into the creek. The judge, in a 36-page decision, stated the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment already has issued those kinds of orders. He said the city has spent more than $100 million on its sewage system to make spills less likely and may spend more than $250 million. “There have been substantial improvements” in the operation of the system, he wrote. “Given the state’s involvement with its permits and compliance orders (against the city), I conclude that, absent proof of the inadequacy of the state’s enforcement, the overall public interest in avoiding pollution . . . is better served with the active enforcement by the CDPHE rather than by this court,” Miller wrote. He said the state’s enforcement is “effective.” The judge said he temporarily will keep jurisdiction of Sierra’s case against Colorado Springs “to assure that CDPHE is diligently enforcing its permits and orders.”

More Fountain Creek coverage here and here.

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