STOP ROAD CONSTRUCTION AT SITE OF FORMER NUCLEAR BOMB PLANT ROCKY FLATS
TO: SECRETARY OF THE INTERIOR SALLY JEWELL, U.S. FISH & WILDLIFE SERVICE DIRECTOR DANIEL M. ASHE, SENATOR MARK UDALL, SENATOR MICHAEL BENNET, CONGRESSMAN ED PERLMUTTER, CONGRESSMAN JARED POLIS
Stop construction of the Jefferson Parkway, a toll road planned along the most contaminated edge of the site of a former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado. Rocky Flats remains contaminated with radioactive plutonium, and these adioactive particles could be unleashed by the planned road construction. Please help protect our communities from cancer and other illnesses that this could cause.
Why is this important?
On the site of a highly-polluted former nuclear weapons plant in Colorado, a major highway construction project is poised to stir up decades-old radioactive plutonium particles. The construction of the proposed Jefferson Parkway could present major health risks for drivers, Colorado residents, and local wildlife, and must be stopped.
Plutonium is highly toxic and radioactive. A single particle can cause cancer, according to a 1997 Columbia University study. It causes other frightening health problems, too. Children are the most vulnerable, because once plutonium enters their bodies, it will continue to irradiate surrounding cells throughout their lives.
At the site of the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons factory, which the Jefferson Parkway would pass through, an unknown quantity of toxic plutonium lies buried. After Rocky Flats was forced to stop producing nuclear bombs in 1989, operators admitted to environmental crimes. They had not disposed of plutonium properly while constructing 70,000 nuclear weapon warheads.
After cleanup efforts ended in 2005, the top 3 feet of soil in the former industrial area were still allowed to remain 1,250 times more radioactive than average background radiation levels, and the soil below six feet was allowed to contain an unlimited amount of plutonium.
In 2011, the Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center hired independent scientists to sample the soil along the eastern edge (where the Jefferson Parkway would be constructed). They found that plutonium levels were roughly the same as they were in 1970 when scientists from the Atomic Energy Commission sampled soil in the same area.
"The material is still there; it's still on the surface," said Marco Kaltofen, president of Boston Chemical Data Corp.
Below the surface, the soil is even more radioactive.
Building the Jefferson Parkway would displace soil from these admittedly radioactive depths. Inhalation is the most dangerous kind of exposure to plutonium, which would likely become airborne during construction. With Boulder only ten miles from the site and Denver 16 miles downwind, the results of this exposure could be vast and devastating.
Don’t let government officials sacrifice human health for the sake of development. Please help protect us from cancer and the other frightening ailments caused by radioactive plutonium. Please stop the Jefferson Parkway -- Sign our petition now!