From The Pueblo Chieftain (Peter Roper):
Pueblo County Commission Chairman Terry Hart said Lamborn has played no role in the years of negotiations between Colorado Springs and county officials over stormwater controls, adding: “He should stay the heck out of it.”
Lamborn, from Colorado Springs, told a Denver newspaper last week that he’s spoken to new EPA Director Scott Pruitt twice about dropping the agency’s 2016 lawsuit that claims the city isn’t adequately monitoring Fountain Creek for contaminated stormwater runoff…
Lamborn argues that recent agreements between Colorado Springs and Pueblo County calling for $460 million in stormwater improvements is proof the lawsuit is unnecessary.
Hart countered that Lamborn is ignoring the importance of the lawsuit in forging a better relationship between Pueblo County and Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers and that city’s council.
Hart said Suthers’ support for spending $460 million over 20 years is a fragile commitment between Pueblo County and the current leadership in Colorado Springs.
“The threat of that lawsuit was critically important in our reaching an intergovernmental agreement with Colorado Springs,” Hart said Tuesday. “We joined that lawsuit to protect our interests and right now, Colorado Springs is doing a good job of honoring its commitment. But the lawsuit would nail down the agreement to withstand the political winds that blow back and forth.”
The Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment also is a party to the lawsuit, as is Pueblo County.
State health officials confirmed Tuesday they joined the suit because of very real concerns that Colorado Springs continues to violate water quality standards.
“We believe that these significant violations need to be corrected in order to protect the state’s water quality,” the department said in a statement.
If Lamborn is hoping to use political clout to stop the lawsuit, Pueblo County officials are looking for help in the nation’s capital, too.
Hart said the county sent letters of concern in April to Rep. Scott Tipton, R-Colo., and the state’s two senators, Democrat Michael Bennet and Republican Cory Gardner.
Hart said the issue then was urging continued congressional support for EPA enforcement.