The first nine months of 2023 have been dedicated to distributing the first round* of payments from Section 2. (“Reduce Impacts to Residents”) of the Denver Water Settlement Agreement. An estimated timeline is provided below and available in PDF format here. (For most recent updates, please read the e-newsletters posted on the right side column.)
* Because Denver Water’s operational plan for tree removal around Gross Reservoir will not be available until 2024, there will be two phases of Fund distribution. Phase 1 will distribute funding based on ongoing impacts from the full 7-year Gross Dam Expansion Project. Phase 2 will distribute funding based on impacts from the 2-year tree removal operations.
Brief Background Summary
In July 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) issued an Order amending Denver Water’s hydropower license that permitted Denver Water to proceed with the Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. With this Order, Denver Water was able to claim that FERC has “complete authority” over the project and was able to avoid County review of the largest construction project in Boulder County history. In addition, Denver Water sued Boulder County to make sure the County’s local land use (1041) authority was preempted (denied) by federal regulation.
In November 2021, Boulder County reached an agreement with Denver Water to resolve the federal lawsuit by Denver Water v. Boulder County. The settlement directed Denver Water to pay more than $12.5 million to Boulder County to mitigate the impacts of the dam expansion project, including $5 million for a fund to be distributed to area residents to help mitigate noise, light, and air impacts to households near the Gross Reservoir Dam Expansion project. Read more about the settlement agreement…