Anglers make short film to protest 'Million' pipeline

Project would send water from Flaming Gorge to Denver

Published: Saturday, Jan. 21 2012 3:00 p.m. MST

The Uintah County Commission is one of a growing number of government bodies in Colorado, Utah and Wyoming that have voiced opposition to Million's plan. Wyoming Gov. Matt Mead has said he's against the proposal. However, Utah Gov. Gary Herbert has not established his position and is still studying the plan, according to his office.

"This is a very prolonged process and there are several junctures where Utah can intervene," said Herbert's spokeswoman, Ally Isom.

"It's still too early in the process to talk about it," Isom added, noting that "Utah will defend its water rights."

Million has submitted an application to the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission for review because his proposal involves the construction and operation of several hyrdoelectric facilities. In October, FERC notified Million that the application was deficient and requested that he submit additional information.

If FERC issues Million a preliminary permit, it would allow him to apply to build the hydroelectric facilities. FERC specified in its notice to Million that it only has jurisdiction over the proposed hydroelectric elements of the project. It said construction of other substantial portions of the pipeline would require permits from other federal agencies.

Million's project is intriguing in Colorado, where water managers face the challenge of supplying water to sprawling development on the Front Range. Colorado water officials recently agreed to spend $72,000 to explore the pipeline proposal and another $100,000 after that if the initial study proves promising.

Contributing: Amy Joi O'Donoghue. E-mail: gliesik@desnews.com Twitter: GeoffLiesik

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