At stake: Colorado's precious rivers

From the mighty Colorado and Arkansas rivers, to Boulder Creek, Clear Creek, and the rest of the streams in our backyards, Colorado’s waters are a big part of what makes life here so great. We should be able to raft, fish, tube or otherwise enjoy our waters knowing that they are protected from toxic dumping and irresponsible development.

73,000 miles of waterways open to pollution

In the last decade, polluter-driven court decisions gutted the Clean Water Act and left 68 percent of Colorado’s waterways open to unchecked pollution and development—the same waterways that feed our rivers, like the Arkansas and the Colorado. This means that over 73,000 miles of streams and rivers1—and the drinking water sources for 3.7 million Coloradans—are at risk of toxic dumping, development and more.

Polluters fighting to block our progress 

Last year, we took a major step forward when the Environmental Protection Agency announced a plan to close these loopholes in the Clean Water Act. But already, big polluters and their allies in Congress are doing everything they can to block protections for our rivers.

It’s clear that if polluters win, our rivers will suffer. We know that we can’t compete with their lobbyists dollar for dollar. But the public is with us—and if we can build enough support, we can convince the EPA to protect our rivers for good. That’s why we’re mobilizing Coloradans to take a stand for the Arkansas River, Boulder Creek, and all of our rivers and streams.

Together, we can win

Protecting our rivers is a big challenge, but we’ve convinced the EPA to take the first step. Now, we're calling on the EPA to finish the job by closing the loopholes and protecting our rivers for good. Together, we can build the support it will take to overcome the polluters, close the loopholes, and keep our rivers clean.

Click here to tell the EPA: Protect Colorado's rivers.

Issue updates

Report | Environment America

Wasting Our Waterways: Toxic Industrial Pollution and the Unfulfilled Promise of the Clean Water Act

Industrial facilities continue to dump millions of pounds of toxic chemicals into America’s rivers, streams, lakes and ocean waters each year – threatening both the environment and human health. According to the EPA, pollution from industrial facilities is responsible for threatening or fouling water quality in more than 10,000 miles of rivers and more than 200,000 acres of lakes, ponds and estuaries nationwide.

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News Release | Environment Colorado

Efforts to reform natural gas development gain momentum

As the House Natural Resources Committee holds hearings on reforms to the nation's oil and gas program, more than 160 community and national organizations across the country signed on to a letter of support for passage of legislation that would protect drinking water from the growing impacts of hydraulic fracturing, a process used in most natural gas drilling projects.

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News Release | Environment Colorado

John McCain: No Friend to America's Waters

Environment Colorado released an analysis today documenting that, from the cleanup and disclosure of toxic waste to drinking water standards, Sen. John McCain has too often taken the side of polluters in opposing stronger protections for our waterways.

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News Release | Environment Colorado

Clean Water Act turns 35: challenges lie ahead

Clean water advocates celebrated the Clean Water Act’s 35th anniversary alongside the Platte River today, highlighting the Act’s successes as well as its challenges outlined in a new report by Environment Colorado entitled Troubled Waters: An analysis of Clean Water Act compliance. According to the report, in 2005 more than 45 percent of industrial and municipal facilities across Colorado discharged more pollution into our waterways than their Clean Water Act permits allow.

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News Release | Environment Colorado

Colorado Waters Under Pressure

Colorado’s water quality declined 21% for rivers and streams and 31% for lakes over the last eight years, and will continue to decline if changes aren’t made, according to Water Under Pressure, a new report released today by Environment Colorado Research & Policy Center.

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