Well, not exactly. It’s actually just adjacent to Rocky Flats, a Nuclear Superfund site shut down because of egregious criminal violations of environmental laws. Candelas faces the site, where Plutonium triggers were made for Cold-War weaponry.
Despite the known presence of Plutonium, Beryllium, Uranium & other toxic wastes hidden beneath the ground at Rocky Flats, there are proposals for a Parkway and for housing to be built right at the site. The Parkway will go over the most contaminated parts of the site, and the construction will release trapped toxins which could harm workers, residents, and everyone downwind. Denver, Arvada, Westminster, Golden, and Superior are all within close wind-blown particle range.
The EPA says “Contaminants released to the environment include (but are not limited to) plutonium-239/240, americium-241, uranium, carbon tetrachloride, tetrachloroethene (PCE or perc), trichloroethene (TCE), nitrates and chromium. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs), nitrates and uranium contaminated shallow groundwater. The radioactive elements plutonium, uranium, and americium contaminated soils.” So it’s a bit surprising to some that now a housing development is slated for build in such close proximity. . . and a proposed Parkway is slated for development which will go over the most contaminated part of the old Rocky Flats site.
As the site was working with Plutonium triggers, the main danger is from inhalation of the tiny plutonium particles that were used. Construction may release and kick up the particles that were buried as part of the clean up process. This could be a concern for workers, residents, and those downwind and potentially downstream from the site as well.
Candelas is holding its Grand Opening celebration Sat. June 1st at 11am-5pm. They brand the development as earth-friendly and tout sustainability as part of their mission. Local residents are proposing educating participants about the risks they may be incurring– for themselves and for the larger community by buying homes so close to a Superfund site. There are also efforts underway to block the potentially hazardous parkway, labeled by some as the “Plutonium Parkway.”