FERC Denies Permit for Water Supply and Hydropower Proposal

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The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission today denied a proposal by a developer to build seven hydropower projects along a proposed 501 mile long pipeline to carry water from south Wyoming to Pueblo, Colorado.

Last year in September, a Fort Collins businessman Aaron Million had applied for a preliminary permit before FERC to study the feasibility of the water supply pipeline. The project would include two water withdrawal facilities, approximately nine natural-gas-powered pump stations, two pumped storage and five conventional hydropower developments, seven new reservoirs, and seven transmission lines.

In an order issued today, FERC determined that the pipeline, which is not in FERC’s jurisdiction, is uncertain and that issuing permit for the hydropower projects would be premature.

Coalition members American Rivers, American Whitewater, and Trout Unlimited had opposed the proposal because of its potential to impact Green River and Flaming Gorge Reservoir and had encouraged FERC to deny the permit. Earlier ACE had terminated an EIS process to review a similar proposal by the same applicant on grounds of uncertainty.