How Clean Is Your Waterway?

May 11 2009, 11:11 AM

Seventy-three percent of the state's waterways--that's 76,000 miles of Colorado streams--could lose protections against pollution, according to The Denver Post, which writes that "U.S. Supreme Court decisions and Bush administration interpretations of those rulings...limit the scope of the Clean Water Act." For example, in 2007, H.F. Holdings, the builder of the Lagae Ranch neighborhood in North Castle Pines, was surprised to learn that permits weren't necessary to regulate what spills into a creek running through its site, although the creek runs to Reuter-Hess Reservoir. "It's pretty clear we need to act aggressively to protect U.S. waters," says U.S. Representative Diana DeGette, a Denver Democrat, who supports legislation to strengthen laws against pollution. Elsewhere in Colorado's waters, after nearly 30 years of legal fighting, a Colorado court has approved a settlement to allow more water to flow through the Black Canyon of Gunnison National Park, a move that should protect the region's famous trout fishery, writes Fly, Rod & Reel. And if you want to collect rainwater for fire protection, watering your livestock, or your garden, go ahead. Governor Bill Ritter has signed legislation reversing a law that made it illegal to collect rainwater, according to Sky-Hi Daily News.

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