Peak & Prairie
June / July 1999
Pikes Peak Suit Settled
The Sierra Club and City of Colorado Springs have reached a settlement of the Sierra Club’s Pikes Peak lawsuit. In February 1999, the State of Colorado ordered the City to comply with conditions contained in a Section 401 permit issued by the Water Quality Control Division of the Colorado Department of Public Health and the Environment. The permit states that the City must implement a plan to remediate the erosion and sedimentation problems caused by the highway within a 10-year period.
In its settlement with the City, the Sierra Club further defined the standards that the City’s erosion and sedimentation control measures must meet: they must be at least as environmentally protective as the 1997 Drexel Barrell & Company plan, and a review mechanism must ensure that any proposed changes from the existing Drexel Barrell remediation plan will be environmentally effective. In addition, the City has agreed to contribute $300,000 to remediate highway-caused damage to adjoining wetlands, including Severy Creek, which was recently discovered to be the native home of a Greenback cutthroat trout population.
By requiring the City to apply for 401 certification, and by obtaining conditions that adequately protect the environment on Pikes Peak, we have achieved the goals of our clean water suit. We look forward to working with the City to bring about the rapid and effective remediation of the Pikes Peak problem.James Lockhart, Pikes Peak Group Chair
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