Background of Colorado’s “1041 Powers” or “1041 Regulations”
Colorado law grants “1041 powers” to local governments to identify, designate, and regulate areas and activities of state interest through a local permitting process. The general intention of these powers is to allow for local governments to maintain their control over development projects even where the development project has statewide impacts. More information about the regulations passed in 1974 by the Colorado Legislature can be found here.
A 1041 review would allow the Boulder County Planning Commission and the County Commissioners to conduct public hearings and review the application according to the criteria in the Code. At that time, all public input, including emails opposing the project, will be made a part of the record of the 1041 docket and considered by the Planning Commission and the County Commissioners as a part of their decision-making processes. It is the Land Use Director’s determination that before undertaking the project, Denver Water must obtain a 1041 permit under Article 8 of the Boulder County Land Use Code.
The Army Corp of Engineers issued its Record of Decision granting Denver Water a federal permit for the project in July 2017. However, before it can commence the project, Denver Water must still receive approval of its hydropower license amendment application from the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC).
Added 7/17/2020: On July 16, 2020, the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission gave its approval for the project and ordered Denver Water to proceed with design and construction. The Board of County Commissioners issued this statement:
We plan to review FERC’s decision very closely. In the meantime, it remains critical that Denver Water bring this project through Boulder County’s local permitting process. A Boulder District Court Judge has determined that Denver Water is required to go through the county’s process and we have said all along that because of the substantial impacts to Boulder County residents from any expansion of the dam, we should have local review authority. Denver Water has opposed the county’s position and has appealed the Boulder District Court’s decision to the Colorado Court of Appeals.
Boulder County has intervened in the FERC application noting many reasons why the county finds the application to be deficient. In its motion to intervene, the county outlined nearly 20 points of contention with the project.
On March 20, 2018, the county responded to FERC’s Supplemental Environmental Assessment, once again pointing out the deficiencies that Boulder County finds in Denver Water’s FERC application and FERC’s environmental assessment of the project.
The county plans to further address impacts and concerns during a county (local) land use review process and has explained to FERC that Denver Water must obtain required a 1041 permit under Article 8 of the Boulder County Land Use Code before it undertakes the project. Denver Water has appealed the Boulder County Land Use Director’s determination that it must obtain a 1041 permit.
Boulder County will continue to update this website with all developments.
- Land Use Director’s response to Denver Water, Jan. 18, 2019
- Gross Reservoir Dam expansion proposal determination letter to Denver Water, Oct. 22, 2018
- Determination request letter from Denver Water, Oct. 12, 2018
- Boulder County’s comments related to FERC Supplemental Environmental Assessment, March 20, 2018
- Boulder County’s motion to intervene in Denver Water’s FERC license amendment application, March 22, 2017
- Boulder County’s Substantive Supplemental Comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Moffat Collection System Project, July 1, 2014
- Boulder County’s Comments to U.S. Army Corps of Engineers on the Final Environmental Impact Statement for the Moffat Collection System Project, June 5, 2014
Email or Text Updates
- To receive notices about the Gross Reservoir project, look for the “Sign Up for Email Updates” option at the bottom of the page on the Gross Reservoir website.
- Sign Up to receive Boulder County-related hearing and meeting announcements concerning the proposed Denver Water Gross Reservoir Expansion Project. You can unsubscribe at any time.
*FERC acted as a cooperating agency in the EIS process. FERC issued a Supplemental Environmental Assessment (EA) in February 2018 which addresses issues not addressed in the Final EIS, as information on certain topics was not available at the time that was issued (e.g., dam raise construction activities, tree clearing, and inundation plans, among other topics). The period for submitting comments to FERC is open through April 9, 2018. Documents related to the FERC approval process are available by searching the FERC eLibrary (Docket P-2035, sub-docket 099).