Coalition of cities against proposed EPA regulations

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Wheat Ridge will join other Front Range communities speaking out against new regulations on stormwater management.

Recently, the Environmental Protection Agency introduced new regulations on the management and usage of stormwater runoff. Former Aurora Mayor Ed Tauer asked City Council during its Jan. 28 study session to join a coalition against the regulations.

“Clean water is nonnegotiable, it’s part of our values as Coloradans,” Tauer said. “However, how we get there is something that should be unique to each ecosystem.”

Communities create their own plan for controlling runoff based on ecological factors of the area. Now, the EPA is looking to pass legislation that would introduce sweeping, “one size fits all” regulations to the nation.

Some proposed laws include retrofitting roads to meet new standards and requiring communities to retain 1.2 inches of stormwater on site to be used on the property it was collected on.

Tauer said the new regulations would drive up the cost of development projects. The coalition’s website, coloradocleanwatercoalition.com, states that an eight-acre retail or industrial project would include an additional $400,000 due to new laws.

District I Councilman Davis Reinhart expressed his support for the coalition, stressing the importance solidarity between the communities.

“I think that we municipalities often have very little weight in getting a fair hearing on our issues at a state and national level,” Reinhart said. “For me, this is an issue where if we can put our voices together, we may get a little more protection.”

The cities in the coalition so far include Thornton, Arvada, Greeley, Firestone, Lone Tree and Castle Rock.

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