Boulder County asks court to dismiss Gross Reservoir expansion lawsuit

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Posted at 6:57 PM, Aug 10, 2021

BOULDER, Colo. — Boulder County has asked a federal court to dismiss a lawsuit that could stop the county from reviewing a planned expansion of Gross Dam and Reservoir.

Denver Water filed the lawsuit in July, claiming that Boulder County officials were stalling on a local permit that's needed so the utility can begin a long-planned reservoir expansion, and alleges the county does not have the authority to regulate the project.

Boulder County said Tuesday after filing a motion to dismiss the lawsuit that the reservoir expansion is subject to the county’s permitting authority based on a 2019 ruling from Boulder District Court judge. The utility appealed the ruling but later dropped the appeal, Boulder County said.

In a statement Tuesday, Boulder County said, “Denver lost its state court lawsuit, and it is not entitled to a rematch.”

The Gross Reservoir Expansion Project would be the largest construction project in the history of Boulder County, if it gets final approval. It would raise the existing 340-foot Gross Dam by an additional 131 feet, increasing reservoir capacity by 77,000 acre-feet.

The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission have approved the project.