As a federally permitted project, the purpose, need and environmental impacts of the project have been vetted through almost a decade of research. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers released the Final Environmental Impact Statement in 2014 that details project mitigation measures and addresses public comment received after publication of the Draft Environmental Impact Statement. Like many water supply projects, there are a number of permits at the federal, state and local level that are needed before construction can begin:
Also a component of the Clean Water Act of 1972, 401 Certification is a process handled at the state level. In the case of the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment is responsible for evaluating the impacts of and ensuring water quality associated with this project.
A major responsibility of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers is administering the permitting program under Section 404 of the Federal Water Pollution Control Act of 1972, also known as the Clean Water Act. Permit review and authorization is a thoughtful and lengthy process that encourages avoidance of impacts, followed by minimizing impacts and, finally, requiring mitigation for unavoidable impacts to the aquatic environment.
Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Hydropower License Amendment
The Gross Reservoir Dam includes a 7.6 mW hydropower unit, which is licensed for operation by FERC. Under the Federal Power Act, FERC has exclusive authority to license non-federal hydropower projects. The amendment of license process requires that FERC address both the economics and engineering issues and the potential environmental and socioeconomic effects of project development and operation.
Denver Water expects to receive the License Amendment in 2020.
As work continues on the the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project, we want to highlight some of the progress and milestones achieved throughout 2019. The 2019 Year-End Report can be viewed by clicking the image below.
TAP - December, 10, 2019 - "The photographs provide snapshots of the enormous effort it took to construct the dam. Hundreds of workers spent four years in the remote canyon working long hours, often in harsh weather conditions. “My dad knew everything about the dam...
TAP - Dec. 2, 2019 - "Denver Water, as part of an expansive environmental agreement with the Arapaho-Roosevelt National Forest, recently completed its first “toad tunnel” under Vasquez Creek Road just outside Winter Park." Read the full story here.
The Colorado Sun - Nov. 13 - "Both Denver Water and Northern Water state that their new diversion projects are aimed to help meet increasing water demands along the Front Range and to buffer customers from future water-supply variability due to climate change." Read...