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A Colorado developer hoping to pipe Green River water from Flaming Gorge to Denver is asking federal regulators to reconsider their initial rejection of his application.
Aaron Million, of Fort Collins-based Wyco Power and Water, on Friday filed a request for rehearing with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. Last month FERC dismissed his application, citing uncertainty over whether he could secure a route across various land jurisdictions.
Million chose FERC as the permitting agency based on several planned hydropower generators along the 500-mile route from Flaming Gorge, though the water pumping would use more energy than it generates.
Utah has used the same rationale in seeking approval for a Lake Powell pipeline to St. George, and Million's new application questions whether FERC imposed the same requirements in advancing that project.
"Wyco contends that it will be counterproductive and cost-prohibitive to secure all necessary permits and authorizations to construct the pipeline without confirming the locations of the associated hydroelectric facilities," the company said in its filing.
Conservationists have criticized the plan as a threat to the Green and Colorado rivers and their rare fish species. On Friday, they said Million's second attempt, with no new justifications, seems futile but still threatening.
"FERC certainly got it right the first time," Earthjustice attorney Michael Hiatt said. "This project would clearly devastate the Green River."