Colorado River District joins A74, Prop 112 opposition | PostIndependent.com

Colorado River District joins A74, Prop 112 opposition

Staff report

The Colorado River District's Board of Directors has come out in opposition to two statewide initiatives that are on the Colorado ballot this fall.

At a special meeting last month, the board voted unanimously to oppose Amendment 74, related to private property compensation, and Proposition 112, having to do with greater setbacks for oil and gas facilities.

According to a press release from the River District, the board, which represents 15 western Colorado counties covering nearly one-third of the entire state, moved to oppose the initiatives "due, in large part, to the direct negative impacts that both would have on West Slope water management efforts."

The River District board described Proposition 112 as an "overly-aggressive proposal creating a de facto statewide ban on oil and gas production" that would "devastate the state's economy and cripple state and local government budgets, including the Colorado River District's."

The district argues that it would also significantly reduce state severance tax revenue that support water projects and programs statewide — "including important environmental, conservation and water quality programs administered by the Colorado Department of Natural Resources and the Colorado Water Conservation Board."

In their resolution opposing Amendment 74, board members described the proposed constitutional amendment as "ill-advised, poorly constructed and fraught with unintended consequences harmful to Colorado's waters and water users."

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The directors were unanimous in their concerns with Amendment 74, citing "the risk and expense associated with Amendment 74 would predictably result in the state of Colorado losing state authority to implement the federal Clean Water Act to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) with attendant adverse impacts to Colorado's streams, rivers and water users."