2002 CPEO Military List Archive

From: CPEO Moderator <cpeo@cpeo.org>
Date: 3 Dec 2002 17:55:26 -0000
Reply: cpeo-military
Subject: [CPEO-MEF] Polluted Denver parcel turns wildlife refuge
Polluted Denver parcel turns wildlife refuge
Tuesday, December 3, 2002 Posted: 7:47 AM EST (1247 GMT)

COMMERCE CITY, Colorado (AP) -- Deer meander through fields, prairie dogs pop up from their burrows to look around, and hawks glide overhead near a site once branded the most polluted square mile in America.

The animals' home is the 17,000-acre Rocky Mountain Arsenal, once a center of chemical weapons and pesticide production and now a federal Superfund site undergoing a $2.2 billion cleanup that will turn it into a wildlife preserve.

Federal officials are planning to designate it a national wildlife refuge in 2011, when the cleanup is expected to be completed. They envision it as a vast oasis sitting between Denver, eight miles away, and the rapidly growing suburbs to the northeast.

"It's a great opportunity for us to have a wildlife refuge close to a large metro area. It's a chance for people to come in contact with wild places and to preserve open space," said Dean Rundle, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service manager of the refuge-in-the-making.

Some critics say transforming the site into a refuge saves the government and Shell Chemical Co. from cleaning up the land as thoroughly as they would have had to for other uses, such as homes or businesses. They claim the animals and the public are at risk.

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