Nebraska reaches accord with Colorado over the proposed Republican River compliance pipeline

A picture named republicanriverbasin.jpg

From The Yuma Pioneer (Stan Murphy):

The States agreed on a schedule for Pipeline deliveries that will avoid deliveries during the irrigation season to the maximum extent possible, which is consistent with the schedule developed by the RRWCD’s engineer. Colorado also agreed to support Nebraska’s proposed resolution of its Crediting Issue (which is to give Nebraska credit for the payment of damages in the running averages used to determine Compact compliance if Nebraska is required to pay damages to Kansas). The stipulation does not resolve Kansas’ issues with the Pipeline, but it removes one road block to completion of the Pipeline. The arbitration before the arbitrator selected by the States, Martha O. Pagel, an attorney from Portland, Oregon, is scheduled for July 12-14, 2010, in Kansas City, Kansas.

Second, on May 4, Kansas filed a motion with the U.S. Supreme Court for leave to file a petition to hold Nebraska in contempt for violating the Decree in Kansas v. Nebraska and Colorado. Kansas said in the petition that no relief is sought against Colorado, but Kansas reserves the right to seek relief at a later time against Colorado for its violations of the Decree. In the petition, Kansas asked that Nebraska be adjudged in contempt and enjoined from further violations of the Compact, that Nebraska be ordered to pay over to Kansas the amount of Nebraska’s profits or Kansas’ losses resulting from Nebraska’s violations, whichever is greater, that Nebraska be ordered to pay preset sanctions in the event of future violations, that Nebraska be ordered to reduce groundwater pumping, and that a river master be appointed to monitor and ensure Nebraska’s compliance with the Decree.

The filing of the petition underscores the need for the Compact Compliance Pipeline to bring Colorado into compliance with its Statewide Compact allocations. Kansas continues to insist that Colorado is in violation of the sub-basin non-impairment requirement in the South Fork sub-basin. Colorado views that as a separate issue and has filed a motion to dismiss that issue from the arbitration.

More Republican River Basin coverage here and here.

Leave a Reply