- File photo
When all costs associated with the EPA's lawsuit against the city are tallied, the bill is higher than previously reported. An earlier city accounting showed that a Denver law firm, Ryley Carlock & Applewhite, had been paid about $794,700 so far, but that's only part of the story.
The city now says associated charges for staff attorney time and "expert consulting and expert witness services for defense of the lawsuit" in the Clean Water Act case have pushed the total expense so far to $1,446,275, or about $85,000 per month on average. (The city began focusing on a potential lawsuit in February 2016). Those additional charges include billings from Catalyst Repository Systems, $49,412; Urban Watersheds LLC, $48,120; and hydraulics expert Pierre Y. Julien, $7,400. Staff attorneys, excluding the city attorney and deputy city attorney, have logged the equivalent of $30,192 in cost. The biggest billing, besides the Ryley law firm, has come from consulting firm MWH Americas, Inc., which has been paid $516,451.
MWH has a long association with the city. Colorado Springs Utilities has paid the firm $85.6 million since 2007 for various assignments, mostly associated with the Southern Delivery System water pipeline.
The EPA and state regulators filed the lawsuit in November 2016 after twice reporting to the city it was in violation of its federal permit for discharging storm flows into creeks and streams.