There was a recent news article about the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge that reminded me anything about Rocky Flats will be vilified regardless of the facts. The article begins, “Millions of dollars in federal funds to help tie a major regional trail into the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge may be in jeopardy, as communities near the refuge wrestle with the troubled legacy of the former nuclear weapons plant.” Superior and Westminster have decided not to provide their share of the funds needed to support the $6.5 million in federal funds required for the project. The proposed project would “…build two underpasses and one overpass to provide people and animals access to the refuge across Indiana Street and Colorado 128.” The federal grant requires a minimum of $1.1 million from local communities, and Superior and Westminster have declined to provide their required portion of the total. A Boulder official said, “If they’re going to do this, they’re going to have to do additional soil sampling,” she said. “If there is nothing to be afraid of, why can’t we sample to assuage the public of concerns that this is something dangerous.”
I’ve advocated that one unintended consequence of building Rocky Flats Plant is that it resulted in protection of a large swath of high mountain prairie from development. Those who call themselves “environmentalists” should be actively advocating that the proposed project would allow many people to experience that beautiful protected vista. I doubt that it will be possible, because the usual fear mongers will work to attract sufficient negative press to stop the project.
The manager of the refuge commented that “The vision for the Greenway Trail was to connect open spaces… (and that ) He’s confident that with time and accurate information, most communities will buy in to the underpass-overpass project.” I’m less confident based on the Boulder official’s comment about the need for sampling to determine whether there is “…something dangerous.” I assure you that there will be plutonium detected in samples from the area of the proposed project. I also assure you that there would be plutonium detected in the backyard of that Boulder official’s home. There also would be plutonium in the backyard of anyone reading this posting regardless of whether they are in Colorado or any other state. The entire earth was contaminated with plutonium by the atmospheric testing of nuclear weapons, and there will be little difference in the results from the area of the proposed project or anywhere else on the planet.
I suggest officials should also sample the dust on their office desk and/or the dirt in the landscape around their offices to allow themselves to report a comparison in the amount of plutonium detected. I predict the results would be similar.