DENVER (CBS4) – With the potential for wide public access just a year away, several activist groups are suing to keep Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge closed until more evidence proves the area is safe.
The groups on Wednesday announced a legal initiative “suing U.S. government agencies for failure to comply with federal environmental laws in preparing to build public trails and a visitor center at the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site will file a motion for a Preliminary Injunction in U.S. District Court to block the start of construction.”
The lawsuit claims U.S. Fish and Wildlife hasn’t conducted proper Environmental Impact Statements under the National Environmental Policy Act for what’s now proposed at the site. That lawsuit was filed earlier this month. On Wednesday, the group filed for a preliminary injunction.
“The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, perhaps until this lawsuit, has been engaged in a relentless and certainly understated plan to open the refuge to the public without conducting the necessary environmental reviews. This lawsuit does not attempt to pre-judge what those reviews will determine but it does seek to compel the Fish and Wildlife Service, that government agency, to comply with government laws,” said attorney Randall Weiner.
Rocky Flats operated as a nuclear trigger manufacturing plant for decades before being shut down in 1989.
The lawsuit says one of the most concerning aspects of Rocky Flats widely opening to the public is that there hasn’t been a comprehensive environmental review since the 2013 floods greatly reshaped drainage on the property. Some concerned citizens believe plutonium buried on the property likely surfaced.