Nov 09, 2020

Colorado Springs Faces $2 Million Fine

Colorado Springs is facing a $2 million fine and $43 million in storm water projects 

colorado springs

Two years after a judge ruled that Colorado Springs, Colorado violated federal storm water regulations on several occasions, a proposed penalty has been revealed.

The city will pay a fine of $2 million and commit to an additional $43 million in storm water projects over 15 years, according to Mayor John Suthers, reported KRDO.

Suthers said an agreement in principle exists for a settlement between the city and the plaintiffs, including the U.S. EPA, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, Pueblo County and the lower Arkansas Valley Water Conservancy District.

"We're now entering a 30-day comment period," said Suthers. "At the end of it, the judge will evaluate whether he wants to approve the settlement. I suspect he will."

City officials will explain settlement details to the public. 

According to Suthers, the federal government would get $1 million of the fine and the state would get the other half. The state's share will go into a current project in the Arkansas River.

As a result of the penalty, however, Colorado Springs will have to raise its storm water fee to homeowners and businesses over the next 15 years to pay the penalty.

The fate of the fee will be determined early next year. 

Most of the money, except for $125,000 in attorneys' fees, will be spent on storm water projects and not a fine.

In the spring of 2016, Pueblo County agreed on a long-range plan in which the city would spend $460 million over 20 years on 71 storm water projects, maintenance and enforcement, reported KRDO.

The EPA initially filed suit in November 2016 and the other plaintiffs joined in. 

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