Energy policy — hydroelectric: Flaming Gorge pipeline hydroelectric generation project environmental review terminated by the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers last Thursday

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From the Fort Collins Coloradoan (Bobby Magill):

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers said its environmental review of entrepreneur Aaron Million’s 550-mile water pipeline project was dead in the water before Million could terminate the study himself. Million said Friday he terminated the environmental review of his Regional Watershed Supply Project, but the Army Corps on Thursday canceled the $3 million review itself after Million re-purposed the project, said Rena Brand, the Army Corps’ regulatory official overseeing the review.

How much of the Army Corps’ work was wasted is unknown, Brand said. “It is unclear how information we’ve gathered and analyzed would be used,” she said…

Brand said Million did not respond “in an appropriate manner” by his July 5 deadline, despite telling the Coloradoan in June that he planned to do so. “We had a phone call from one of his team members the day before the deadline asking for more time,” Brand said. The Corps specifically asked Million to let them know by the deadline how he intended to resume the EIS, he said…

Million said Monday his team asked for several more days in order to finalize the permit application with FERC…

“I think the Corps recognized that this is a project that is not ripe for primetime,” said Stacy Tellinghuisen, a water policy analyst for pipeline critic Western Resource Advocates in Boulder. “FERC hopefully will see the same.”

From the Associated Press via The Pueblo Chieftain:

The Army Corps had canceled the $3 million review itself on Thursday after Million changed the project’s purpose, Rena Brand, the Army Corps’ official overseeing the review, told The Fort Collins Coloradoan. The Corps spent two years on the Million-financed Environmental Impact Study of the 550-mile pipeline, which would take about 250,000 acre-feet of water annually from the Green River at Flaming Gorge Reservoir, pump it over the Continental Divide and deliver it via Fort Collins to Colorado’s Front Range…

Million had asked the Army Corps in April to suspend the environmental review for 60 days to give him time to decide the project’s future. Brand said Million did not respond ‘‘in an appropriate manner’’ by his July 5 deadline. “We had a phone call from one of his team members the day before the deadline asking for more time,” Brand said. Without a response, Brand said, the Army Corps told Million on Thursday it had terminated the study because the project’s purpose is “uncertain.”

More Flaming Gorge pipeline coverage here and here.

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