Law firm chosen for EPA lawsuit has history with Colorado Springs

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The city is defending against a lawsuit filed last year by the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act due to neglect of the city's stormwater system. - FILE PHOTO
  • File photo
  • The city is defending against a lawsuit filed last year by the EPA and the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, alleging violations of the Clean Water Act due to neglect of the city's stormwater system.
In this week's Independent, we report the potential cost of the city's legal bill from the EPA lawsuit as $1.9 million. ("City EPA lawsuit costs on the rise," News.)

We'd asked the city how the law firm, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite of Denver, was chosen and received an extensive response for which we didn't have room in the newspaper.

Here's the explanation, as provided by Communications Director Jamie Fabos:
In September of 2014, before the City Attorney's Office adopted outside counsel retention policies, Colorado Springs Utilites retained Ryley Carlock to consult on the SDS project which included Pueblo County 1041 Permit matters and related MS4 (NPDES) permit compliance. Over nearly two years, Ryley Carlock, and its lead attorney, Alan Gilbert, had worked closely with CSU on these SDS 1041 permit issues which involved a great deal of information concerning the City's MS4 stormwater program. Mr. Gilbert gained expertise in the City's MS4 program in that effort. Per the City Attorney's Office Outside Counsel Retention Policy, the existing retention agreement with Ryley Carlock was amended to include legal services related to the then-potential enforcement issues related to the City's stormwater program and MS4 permit. That retention agreement was subsequently amended as the City became aware of the EPA's and State's intended enforcement action and, later, the litigation.

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