News Release on Rocky Flats Refuge Plaintiffs' Final Brief in U.S. District Court Case
Law Offices of Randall M. Weiner, P.C. 3100 Arapahoe Avenue, Suite 202 Boulder, CO 80303
for further information, contact: Randall Weiner 303 440-3321 or Bob Schaeffer 239 395-6773
for immediate release, Monday, September 24, 2018 ROCKY FLATS REFUGE PLAINTIFFS SEEK ADDITIONAL ENVIRONMENTAL ANALYSIS; CLAIM FEDS RELIED ON OLD DATA, IGNORED EROSION AND PLUTONIUM IN DECIDING TO OPEN PUBLIC TRAILS; JUDGE’S RULING EXPECTED SOON
In a final reply brief filed in U.S. District Court, organizations seeking to keep the public from walking and riding on trails at the Rocky Flats Wildlife Refuge claim that the federal government failed to adhere to requirements of the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) in opening the site. Plaintiffs charge that the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service (USFWS) did not analyze the impact of opening trails through the previously off-limits “Wind-Blown” area, where there may be residual Plutonium or the use of the “Section 16 parcel,” which had not been acquired at the time of the most recent environmental review. The brief cites federal regulations requiring supplemental analyses, if an agency “makes substantial changes in the proposed action that are relevant to environmental concerns,” or if “significant new circumstances or information relevant to environmental concerns and bearing on the proposed action or its impacts” arise. Among specific legal claims in the plaintiffs’ brief: - The most recent Environmental Impact Statement, completed in 2004, is out of date - No analysis of the location of trails on Section 16, which includes 617 acres, was ever done - The impact of erosion from heavy rain-induced flooding in September 2013 was never examined - Less than one surface soil sample per 6.5 acres was tested for residual plutonium contamination
U.S. District Court Judge Philip A. Brimmer is expected to issue a ruling in the near future.
Rocky Flats manufactured triggers for nuclear weapons from plutonium, a highly radioactive, long-lived metal. The Federal Bureau of Investigation raided the site for environmental violations in 1989, and it never reopened. Plaintiffs in the suit include: Rocky Mountain Peace & Justice Center, Candelas Glows/Rocky Flats Glows, Rocky Flats Right to Know, Rocky Flats Neighborhood Association and Environmental Information Network. They are represented by the Law Offices of Randall M. Weiner.
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- Plaintiffs’ final Reply Brief is available on request.