Million: Pipeline denial won’t affect plans

FORT COLLINS – Wyco Power and Water Inc. principal Aaron Million said Friday that a rejection by the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission won’t affect plans for the Flaming Gorge Pipeline.

Million said he plans to file a formal application with the commission that he expects will receive approval.

“FERC’s ruling doesn’t affect us from the standpoint of continuing to move forward,” Million said in a phone interview.

The commission on Thursday denied Wyco’ request for a re-hearing on the proposed 500-mile water pipeline from Wyoming to the Front Range.

“We are not persuaded by any of Wyco’s unsupported arguments that it should be issued a preliminary permit,” the commission said in its filing.

Wyco in March asked the commission for a rehearing on its application after the commission rejected the proposal in February.

Million on Friday said the latest ruling has given his team a better understanding of what it must include in its formal application.

“We’ll address the issues and keep heading through the permitting process,” he said.

Large engineering construction firms involved in the project remain interested, he added. He declined to name them, citing confidentiality agreements.

The pipeline would help meet the water needs of Colorado, which faces a water supply shortfall, Million said. It also would bolster flows in the Poudre River.

Environmentalists contend the project would lessen Green River flows. Groups such as Western Resource Advocates, National Parks Conservation Association and Colorado Environmental Coalition oppose Wyco’s application.

Stacy Tellinghuisen, water and energy policy analyst for Boulder-based Western Resources Advocates, called the pipeline “harmful to the environment” and “not necessary for meeting future water demands.”

Million said the Green River already enjoys “full legal protection” and that it would take only “5 to 7 percent” of water in the Flaming Gorge Reservoir in Utah and Wyoming annually.

“The project has huge some benefits to the Poudre River system and protection of that system,” he said.


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