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Flaming Gorge pipeline plan rejected again by regulators

May 18, 2012 - By Ben Neary, The Associated Press

CHEYENNE -- A federal agency for the second time has denied a permit requested by a Colorado businessman who wants to build a 500-mile pipeline to carry water from southwestern Wyoming to Colorado's Front Range.

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission on Thursday refused a request from Aaron Million of Fort Collins, Colo., to reconsider its February denial of his permit. In denying Million's application in February, FERC said it was premature and lacked specifics about the proposed pipeline.

Million proposes to draw water from the Green River in southwestern Wyoming and pipe it as far as Pueblo, Colo. His plans have drawn opposition from Gov. Matt Mead as well as county and local governments in southwestern Wyoming and downstream states.

"I continue to oppose this particular proposal and continue to believe that FERC is not the regulatory body to review Mr. Million's proposal," Mead said Thursday. "I am glad that FERC denied the request for a rehearing."

Million said Thursday he regards FERC's denial as essentially a clarification of the agency's position. He said he's working to secure funding for the project and intends to reapply.

"We anticipated that they would not change the direction from the original response, part of the request frankly had to do with a clarification of issues related to their original decision," Million said. "And indeed, they did clarify several things, and we now understand the rationale, in essence. They said the application was too broad."

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