Pueblo County commissioners plan to intervene in EPA’s stormwater lawsuit against Colorado Springs

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. — Pueblo County commissioners plan to intervene in a federal lawsuit against the city of Colorado Springs.

The lawsuit, filed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment in November of 2016 claims the city of Colorado Springs made numerous violations of their municipal separate storm sewer system. Those violations led to increased E-coli levels as well as erosion, sedimentation and increased flooding.

The board hopes to support the EPA and CDPHE by intervening in the lawsuit as well as make sure that stormwater control infrastructure in Colorado Springs is properly operated and maintained.

FOX21 spoke with Mayor John Suthers to get his reaction. As a former lawyer, he thinks with Pueblo County now getting involved iT Is going to make the litigation more complicated.

“I’m very disappointed that Pueblo County has chosen to seek intervening in the lawsuit. I’m disappointed because we entered into an intergovernmental agreement with Pueblo which was the right thing to do.” Suthers said. “We needed to do that to commit to them that we were going to correct our stormwater deficiencies. We have a 20-year stormwater program that we’re very proud of and we are not only meeting our commitments but we’re exceeding our commitments in terms of the pace at which we’re moving.”

Pueblo County Commissioner Terry Hart released the following statement:

“We appreciate the relationship that has developed between Pueblo County and Colorado Springs in recent years. Our decision to intervene is not about picking a fight. It’s about protecting Pueblo County.”

Suthers also says he’s hoping voters will let the city keep some of the TABOR surplus so they can continue to meet those commitments of the program.

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