JEFFERSON COUNTY, Colo. (CBS4)– The most recent results from soil testing at Rock Flats National Wildlife Refuge show lower than expected levels of contamination. The former nuclear site had shown dangerous levels of plutonium.
“We’re pleased with where these results came in. they validate years and years and years’ worth of data,” said David Lucas, the Refuge manager for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
In June, the USFWS worked with other agencies to test soil in areas where future trails are planned including the Rocky Mountain Greenway Trail. When completed the 80-mile trail would connect the Rocky Mountain Arsenal to Rocky Mountain National Park. It’s currently held up at Rocky Flats.
“The biggest thing is, we listened to the public, Lucas said. “Some public had a concern about this site. And we listened to that. And it’s our job to go out there and answer those questions. This is the best way to go out and answer those questions. To go and get more data and get more results and come back and share that data with the public.”
In 2007, a soil study was conducted as the USFWS started looking at opening up the former nuclear weapon facility to public access.
“The results were generally found to be below what was expected; what’s been found in the past. And everything is below the screening levels and the risk levels that were collected for this site,” Lucas said.
Lucas says the testing was an important step before trail construction can begin.
The test results come on the heels of a plutonium “hot particle” that was found off of the wildlife refuge along Indiana Street during testing for the proposed Jefferson Parkway toll road.
The parkway is now on hold, as more test results are conducted.