Shy, but Not Retiring

Colonel Bishop, Rocky Mountain Arsenal boss, has left the Army--but he's already back on the job.

Yelenick's RAB co-chairman is deputy program manager Kevin Blose, a civilian who's worked for the Army at the arsenal for fifteen years. Personable and energetic, with a beeper on his belt and tennis shoes on his feet, Blose doesn't mince words regarding the challenges of pleasing three federal agencies, the state government and countless citizens' groups. "It's been a nightmare," sighs the environmental engineer. "We're all techies!"

Morale at the arsenal has been a problem for years, Blose admits as he hikes up Rattlesnake Hill, a small rise overlooking the arsenal's new double-lined toxic-waste landfill--under construction by a private contractor. In the past five years, government staff has been cut in half, replaced by Shell employees or workers from private environmental firms.

"We have such a different mission than we used to," Blose says. For the twelve years leading up to the Record of Decision, government employees studied and analyzed what should be done to clean up the arsenal. "Now we're in the actual dirt-moving mode," he explains. "It takes a different kind of engineering. It's hard to retrofit someone."

Except, perhaps, former military man Bishop, now back on the job as a civilian.

Bishop's continued presence at the arsenal shows the Army's commitment to "see this through," says his spokeswoman. Citizens' groups "may not trust the Army," Mecham adds, "but they trust Doc."

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