Great article from Colorado Independent about the controversial urge to develop the beautiful, but terribly contaminated land around Rocky Flats. It covers the “plutonium parkway” which as of the end of 2013 is one step closer to reality. It also the newest Rocky Flats neighbor, Candelas and it’s claims of being “green.” It discusses the controversial history that has, through law suits and strange twists and turns, become recently cleared for development… And of course, the long history of community activism around the site of which Candelas Glows is now a part.
KGNU’s Irene Rodriguez did an in-depth interview with Michelle Gabrieloff-Parish, local mom and accidental Rocky Flats activist opposing further development around the site.
Here she talks about flooding, plutonium timescales, how a mother of three ends up being served cease and desist papers from a powerful corporation, and the need to make a memorial out of the old nuclear weapons plant (NOT a “Wildlife Refuge”)… and why you might need to buy your water for now if you live in the area.
This is the third piece on Rocky Flats the station has done since the 1,000 year flood the site recently experienced.
This image is from Google crisis maps. Notice the road closure between Rocky Flats and Standley lake where we saw very strong whitewater currents of rain rushing in the late morning of September 12– when the rains were just getting started for this storm. Soon thereafter the roads were closed, most probably because that same water was out of its irrigation channel and spilling over the road.
Notice the evacuation areas surrounding the area.
The little squiggly flooding water icons are also worrisome considering how much waste is buried there… What does this mean for all the buried plutonium in terms of runoff water (which could be contaminating city drinking water for Westminster & Broomfield)? What does it mean in terms of ground water? What does it mean in terms of contaminants being brought up to the surface?
Emergencies like this are exactly why Rocky Flats should be called what it is (nuclear burial ground) and not a “National Wildlife Refuge.” Over the course of this sites life, it may see many more floods, and it could see droughts, tornadoes, dustbowls and more. Who is monitoring these situations for public safety and national security? Certainly not US Fish & Wildlife…
We’ve been invited to Standard Pacific Homes’ Opening Celebration at Candelas on Saturday! They must not know the history of the land they’re building on and next to, so we’ll be there to raise awareness–for the developer, home-buyer, worker and passerby alike.
Join us in our safety suits as we educate the community about the controversial history of the development’s biggest & closest neighbor: Rocky Flats (formerly a Nuclear Superfund Site)…
Bring a friend!… But we wouldn’t partake in the free ice cream if we were you…
Sat. August 10
Just West of Indiana & Candelas Parkway, Arvada CO
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.”