Colorado Water
Dazed and confused coverage of water issues in Colorado

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Thursday, November 16, 2006

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Mercury is one of the pollutants from coal-fired powerplants. Here's an article about proposed regulations from the Rocky Mountain News. From the article, "Environmentalists say regulators need to begin requiring control devices on plants to strip out mercury released from burning coal. But industry officials and Colorado public health officials favor a Bush administration-backed approach that would allow power plants to buy and sell pollution allowances for mercury.

"The debate, to be settled today or Friday by Colorado's Air Quality Control Commission, a nine-member board appointed by Gov. Bill Owens, has been years in the making and is national in scope. Whatever Colorado approves, it will mark the state's first effort to regulate such emissions from power plants.

"The volumes involved are relatively small, in the hundreds of pounds. But mercury is a potent element, with the amount in a household thermometer alone enough to contaminate a small lake. Nine lakes and reservoirs in Colorado are posted with consumption advisories that warn people to limit their fish intake because of mercury buildup. Pregnant and nursing women, along with small children, are most at risk of neurological impairment from too much of the metal.

"Under the mercury-control proposal from air- pollution regulators at the state's Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado power plants would be allotted 984 pounds of mercury emissions yearly from 2010 through 2017. At that level, regulators say, nine of Colorado's dozen facilities would find themselves emitting more mercury than allotted, and would have to purchase more allowances from other facilities that had emitted less than their limit, probably out of state, or add emission controls. Under the mercury-control proposal from air- pollution regulators at the state's Department of Public Health and Environment, Colorado power plants would be allotted 984 pounds of mercury emissions yearly from 2010 through 2017."

Here's the list of lakes with elevated mercury levels: Berkeley Lake, Denver; Brush Hollow Reservoir, Fremont; McPhee Reservoir, Montezuma; Narraguinnep Reservoir, Montezuma; Navajo Reservoir, Archuleta; Rocky Mountain Lake, Denver; Sanchez Reservoir, Costilla; Teller Reservoir, El Paso; Vallecito Reservoir, La Plata.

Category: Colorado Water

6:01:14 PM    

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Seven large ditch companies in southeastern Colorado are proposing to band together to form a single large ditch cooperative, according to the Pueblo Chieftain. From the article, "A $330,000 study to look at forming a water management authority with seven large ditch companies was launched Wednesday by the Lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District. The concept of what some are calling the 'Super Ditch' would be to coordinate future water leases so that large areas of agricultural land are not dried up. The plan would not change water rights ownership or the designation of water as primarily agricultural...

"[John] Singletary said the authority would be able to deal with water transfers without taking ag land permanently out of production and without end users even knowing from which parcel of ground leased water was removed. He added that leasing the water does not mean it will be taken out of the valley...

"The study will look at the supply and demand for water in the Arkansas Valley and look at systems available to move water. It will also attempt to determine the price ranges buyers would be willing to pay and sellers would be willing to accept. Engineering data for the Bessemer, High Line, Oxford, Otero, Catlin, Holbrook and Fort Lyon systems will be studied for water availability and the ability to exchange water upstream. The demand assessment in the study will look at the needs of users in and outside the basin. In-basin users identified include Pueblo, Colorado Springs, the proposed Arkansas Valley Conduit, El Paso County water users, the Division of Wildlife, State Parks, smaller communities and groundwater users who require augmentation water."

Category: Colorado Water

5:53:42 AM    

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