Federal EPA and State Enforcement Action Against the City of Colorado Springs

Presented by Richard Mulledy, PE & Jeff Besse

The City of Colorado Springs is unfortunately in the midst of major, ongoing stormwater permit litigation in federal district court in Denver. Four other governments: the United States, the State of Colorado, Pueblo County, and a downstream water conservancy district consisting of five member counties, are suing the City to enforce its MS4 permit. They seek an array of penalties and other relief. In response to enforcement action, current litigation, and permit requirements related to the recently constructed Southern Delivery System, the City of Colorado Springs entered into a legally binding and historic stormwater-related Intergovernmental Agreement between the City, Colorado Springs Utilities, and Pueblo County. The agreement has resulting in the resurrection of the stormwater program and commits the City and Utilities, as partners, to invest a minimum of $460 million dollars over the next two decades on stormwater management and control activities, including a commitment to meet MS4 obligations, maintain existing and future water quality and stormwater related infrastructure, and to the construction of certain identified stormwater capital projects. The City has whole heartedly embraced this truly non-traditional partnership approach. The IGA agreement sets legally binding minimum expenditure requirements of $16.5 million dollars per year and minimum 5 year spending totals of $100 million, $110 million, $120 million, and $130 million over the next 20 year period. These monies must be spent directly on the stormwater program, as defined within the IGA, and are audited for compliance on an annual basis by Pueblo County, which neighbors El Paso County on its southern border.

Richard Mulledy, PE

City of Colorado Springs, Water Resource Division

Richard Mulledy is a licensed professional engineer in the State of Colorado and the current manager of the City of Colorado Springs Water Resources Engineering Division. Richard recently took on the challenge of helping to develop and lead this newly created division within the Public Works Department. As a part of this renewed commitment, the City’s Water Resources Engineering Division is anticipated to grow to approximately 66 employees by the end of 2017, with an annual operating budget of approximately $20 million. The division is responsible for meeting the program requirements of the City’s MS4 Permit, maintaining the City’s stormwater infrastructure, and completing a wide range of stormwater capital projects.

Jeff Besse

City of Colorado Springs, Water Resource Division

Jeff Besse is the Water Quality Program Manager for the City of Colorado Springs’ Water Resources Engineering Division and has managed various components of the City’s MS4 Stormwater Permit for the past 13 years. His responsibilities include managing Water Quality staff under the division, facilitating program requirements, technical writing for annual reports, managing components of federal and state audits, and the development and promotion of policies and programs for the MS4 Permit. He also manages the training of city employees and industry Permitees for compliance, education and outreach, website design and analysis, media communications, and social media applications. Mr. Besse holds a degree in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of Colorado, Colorado Springs.

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