If they couldn’t fight over water, would longtime rivals Pueblo and Colorado Springs find something else to fight over? Of course! But for now, the ongoing feud over Fountain Creek will do.
The contaminated stormwater that perennially pours into the waterway from the Springs metro area and flows downstream to Pueblo and beyond prompted a lawsuit against Colorado Springs in 2016 by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. The agencies cited violations of water-quality standards. Pueblo joined the suit even as the two cities started talks and reached an agreement. Colorado Springs agreed to spend $460 million over 20 years on stormwater projects to rein in its runoff. Toward that end, Springs voters agreed in April to give up $12 million in excess tax revenue over two years to spend on stormwater projects.
So, should the state and feds now drop their lawsuit? 5th Congressional District Republican U.S. Rep. Doug Lamborn of Colorado Springs thinks so, as reported last week, and he has asked the Trump administration’s new EPA chief Scott Pruitt to reconsider the litigation. Lamborn’s hope is that the winds of change blowing through the federal agency could shift its tilt on a suit that had been filed under the Obama administration.
Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers not surprisingly is hoping the same thing and told The Colorado Springs Gazette last Saturday he welcomed Lamborn’s efforts.
Whatever comes of Lamborn’s overture, at least one Pueblo County commissioner isn’t taking it sitting down. And even Lamborn’s fellow Colorado Republican House member, Scott Tipton, whose neighboring 3rd Congressional District includes Pueblo, is expressing misgivings.
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.”
While Lamborn seems to think the agreement between the two cities moots the suit, Hart believes the lawsuit made it possible — and will cement the gain in place:
“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.”
Tipton appeared more circumspect about the foray by his GOP House colleague, but a statement from his office quoted by Roper leaves no doubt the congressman from Cortez isn’t on Lamborn’s side:
“While Congressman Tipton has been encouraged by the commitment demonstrated by Mayor (John) Suthers to solve this long-standing problem, the lawsuit was filed by both the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment for a reason,” a spokesman said.
It’s anyone’s guess where it all will lead with a West Slope water watchdog like Tipton in on the standoff — and taking Pueblo’s side. Yet another illustration of how Colorado’s water wars can cut cross party lines.
Advocates in the Colorado health, education, and environmental communities strongly support House Bill 17-1306 to prevent and eliminate lead exposure in young children. This bill would provide grant funding for schools who wish to test their water for lead. Lead is particularly dangerous for young children because they
Recently, several Colorado newspapers have published articles regarding Colorado childhood immunization rates and fears surrounding the de-funding of the Colorado Immunization Information System (CIIS). CIIS is a $3.3 million per year, tax payer funded, inaccurate, opt-out only tracking system that contains private medical information accessible to health care providers, governmental agencies, and school personnel across the state.
With U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions hinting that the Trump administration might intensify the enforcement of federal marijuana laws, Colorado leaders from both sides of the aisle have come to the defense of the state’s legal marijuana industry in an uncommon show of solidarity in what many consider to be divisive political times of unmatched proportion.
High-level Colorado politicians like Republican U.S. Sen. Cory Gardner and Democratic Gov. John Hickenlooper have both publicly defended what has become a lucrative recreational marijuana industry for the state.
Colorado officials who reviewed thousands of air samples and a dozen studies on air pollution from oil and gas sites said Wednesday the risk of harmful human effects appears to be low, but they stressed that more study is needed.
"The main message (is not) that we didn't find anything," said Mike Van Dyke of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. "It would be, so far we didn't find anything."
Colorado's perceived "cash cow" of tax revenue is still going strong three years after adult recreational use of marijuana began, but members of Denver City Council were told to expect that revenue to likely level off in the years ahead.
Adam Orens, a founding partner of the Marijuana Policy Group, was one of three officials to brief the council's Special Issues Committee on the latest information regarding medical and recreational marijuana use since state voters approved constitutional amendments in 2000 and 2012, respectively.
Orens cited figures from a National Survey of Drug Use and Health and a survey by the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment that focused on 2014 and 2015.
On January 24, 2017, Gov. John Hickenlooper recognized the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment with a Governor’s Elevation Award for enhancing a database that tracks the public’s private medical information without their knowledge with a long list of undisclosed entities. Specifically, CDPHE was honored for enhancing data sharing of immunization records within a state registry known as the Colorado Immunizations Information Systems (CIIS). Here are seven reasons the public should be appalled at this award.
Colorado public interest, environmental and public health organizations have called upon the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment to use funds from the Volkswagen emissions cheating scandal to support a transition to a zero-emission transportation future.
At issue is $61.3 million Colorado will receive between 2017 and 2027 from a settlement between the U.S. Department of Justice and Volkswagen related to the company’s violation of emission control laws in more than half a million vehicles.
The integrity of the nation's voting system has been questioned like never before, led by Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump, but the director of elections in the Denver Elections Division told reporters during a media tour Friday, Oct. 28, that the system can be trusted and is more secure than polling place election systems.
When a majority of Colorado voters cast their ballots in favor of Amendment 64 in 2012, they chose to establish a legal, regulated marketplace for retail marijuana. By approving Amendment 64, they also prioritized protecting the public health and safety of marijuana consumers and non-consumers alike and, without question, keeping marijuana out of the hands of children.