Flaming Gorge pipeline: ‘Green with Envy’ tour’s first stop was in Jackson, Wyoming


From the Wyoming Business Report (Mark Wilcox):

Yesterday, a group formed to defend the Green River and Flaming Gorge from a proposed pipeline that would siphon roughly 81 billion gallons of water to Colorado’s Front Range held the first stop of a region-wide educational tour here at the Wort Hotel. The “Green with Envy” roadshow, which included presentations and a short film, will have six more stops in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming.

Presenter Walt Gasson, Trout Unlimited’s endorsed business director, briefly invoked Dr. Seuss’s Lorax in his impassioned plea to save the Green River. “This is not a problem for people in Colorado or Thneedville who just want to wash their car or water their lawn,” Gasson said. Instead, he said it is Wyoming and its $118 million local outdoor economy that will suffer the consequences of exporting 250,000 acre-feet of water annually. Of that water, 85,000 acre-feet would come from the Green River above Flaming Gorge while the rest would come from the reservoir itself.

Talking of Aaron Million, the entrepreneur who still hopes to build the pipeline despite one failed permitting attempt through the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC), Gasson said Wyoming gets the shallow end of the pool. “He gets the goldmine; we get the shed,” he said.

Here’s the rest of the tour schedule:

Laramie, Wyoming
Monday, March 19, 7 p.m.
University of Wyoming
Education Auditorium
1000 E. University Ave.

Cheyenne, Wyoming
Tuesday, March 20, 7 p.m.
Cheyenne Depot Museum
121 W. 15th St.

Casper, Wyoming
Wednesday, March 21, 7 p.m.
Izaac Walton Building
4205 Fort Caspar Rd.

Fort Collins, Colorado
Thursday, March 22, 6 p.m.
Avogadros Number
605 South Mason St.

Park City, Utah
Thursday, April 5, 7 p.m.
Hotel Park City
2001 Park Ave.

Durango, Colorado
Saturday, April 7, 7 p.m.
Durango Art Center
802 E. 2nd Ave.

More Flaming Gorge Pipeline coverage here and here.

Alamosa: BLM to hear public comments on Blanca Wetlands enlargement


From the Associated Press via The Denver Post:

The Blanca Wetlands area in southern Colorado got the designation [Area of critical environmental concern], partly for its playa and marsh habitats containing large populations of water birds, amphibians, macroinvertebrates and 13 threatened, endangered or sensitive species. The BLM plans to hear from the public Wednesday in Alamosa as it seeks input to guide an environmental analysis of potentially enlarging the Blanca Wetlands area of critical environmental concern.

More conservation coverage here.

2012 Colorado November election: A recent U.S. Supreme Court decision in a Montana case could affect initiatives 3 and 45


From The Mountain Mail (Joe Stone):

Ken Baker, consultant for the Upper Arkansas Water Conservancy District, called the ruling “one of the most important water cases ever heard in the Supreme Court” during the district board meeting Thursday. Baker said the unanimous ruling involves the definition of “navigable waters,” which determines ownership of the streambeds and riverbeds of U.S. waterways. When a state joins the United States, Baker explained, it obtains title to land underneath water that is “navigable.” Baker said the ruling emphasizes “navigability in fact,” a definition based on waterway commerce at the time of statehood, criteria that, for example, classify the Arkansas River as non-navigable. The ruling overturned a decision by the Supreme Court of Montana, whose justices cited the present-day ability of recreational boats to navigate the sections of river in question.

Baker said the State of Montana also argued that denying the state title to the riverbeds would undermine the public trust doctrine, an argument the justices dismissed.
As a result, Baker said the ruling “would support rendering the (‘public trust’) referendum unconstitutional if it were to pass.”

More 2012 Colorado November election coverage here.

Aspen: The city is lowering the levels of fluoride dosing to match new federal standards


From the Aspen Daily News (Curtis Wackerle):

Effective immediately, the city will adapt the amount of fluoride it adds to the water supply to new federal standards recommending levels be set at 0.7 parts per million. The chemical is added to drinking water because of its ability to stem cavities in children, but is controversial because it is also a toxin with adverse health effects in high enough doses…

The official action by council comes after years of debate on the issue. Removing fluoride from public water supplies has become a cause for some, and officials within the city’s water department have become concerned over the years about adding the substance.

“We have the best water in the world,” said water treatment supervisor Charles Bailey, a 20-year veteran of the water department. “We cringe when we load” the fluoride bags into the water supply, he said, noting the chemical’s industrial Chinese origin. There are no domestically available sources of fluoride additive, he said…

The plan approved instructs the water department to “create a more extensive testing protocol” on fluoride levels, and report back annually to council on fluoride. C.J. Oliver, the city’s director of the environmental health department, wrote in a memo on the issue that the government must rely on “peer-reviewed” studies in deciding which way to go. While too much fluoride has been shown to degrade tooth enamel and lead to more bone fractures, the jury is still out on whether the levels of fluoride in Aspen’s water are truly dangerous, the memo says. Other claims, including concerns that fluoride causes cancer and lowers IQ levels, are unsubstantiated at this time, Oliver wrote.

More water treatment coverage here.

Colorado Coalition for the Homeless housing in Thornton gets water-saving makeover during EPA’s ‘Fix a Leak’ Week


Here’s the release from the Environmental Protection Agency:

Today the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency joined Delta Faucet Co., and Bell Plumbing & Heating to provide Renaissance 88 Apartments, a Colorado Coalition for the Homeless apartment building in Thornton, Colo. with a water-saving makeover. The retrofits and leak repairs taken at the apartment complex will save 560,000 gallons of water per year, enough to fill fifty backyard swimming pools.

Over the period of a week, Bell Plumbing & Heating will replace inefficient water fixtures in 180 apartment units at the Colorado Coalition for the Homeless facility with EPA WaterSense-labeled products provided by Delta Faucet Company. These products include faucet aerators and showerheads.

Today’s event is part of a nationwide effort to raise awareness of the importance of water conservation and EPA’s WaterSense program during Fix a Leak Week. EPA is joining Delta Faucet Company –the WaterSense 2011 Manufacturer Partner of the Year- GreenPlumbers USA, the United Way, Ronald McDonald House, and various local water utilities and governments, to fix leaks in more than 1,000 low-income households and community facilities in nine cities across the country including Thornton, Colo.

“Across the country, household leaks add up to more than 1 trillion gallons of water annually. The amount we’re losing could supply Los Angeles, Chicago and Miami for a full year,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “We’re not just losing water, we’re also losing the money our communities put into keeping our water clean and healthy. That’s why Fix a Leak Week is so important, and why we encourage everyone to take a few simple steps that can add up to have a significant positive impact.”

WaterSense, a partnership program sponsored by EPA, seeks to protect the future of our nation’s water supply by offering people a simple way to use less water with water-efficient products, new homes, and services. Since the program’s inception in 2006, WaterSense has helped consumers save 125 billion gallons of water and more than $2 billion in water and energy bills. Consumers can find WaterSense-labeled products at thousands of retail locations across the country.

For more information about finding and fixing leaks: http://www.epa.gov/watersense/fixaleak

For more information on WaterSense or to find a retailer in your area that carries WaterSense-labeled products: http://www.epa.gov/watersense

More conservation coverage here.