The reason for Broomfield's action? A soil sample taken near the path of the proposed highway read dangerously high, at 264 pCi/g of plutonium, more than five times higher than the 50 pCi/g cleanup standard set for Rocky Flats.
The Colorado Department of Public Health analyzed that sample, as well as 467 others taken in tests last summer authorized by the JPPHA; according to the CDPHE, only that single plutonium sample ranked above historic levels considered safe.
The Rocky Flats Stewardship Council was formed in February 2006 to provide ongoing local government and community oversight of the post-closure management of Rocky Flats, which had just completed a $7 billion cleanup; today, much of the land is open to the public as a wildlife refuge, despite concerns of scientists and activists that the property may not be safe...and that construction of a road near the property could stir up more contamination.
Such concerns had led to the JPPHA's decision to take soil samples in and around the proposed construction site last summer. And that resulted in Broomfield putting the brakes on its participation in helping to build a parkway around the site last week.
Broomfield has a representative on the Rocky Flats council, as do other local governments, including Arvada and Jefferson County, the other major partners in the JPPHA. Broomfield had voted last September to hold off on paying the $2.5 million in dues it owed the authority for 2019; now the authority must decide whether to fight for that money...and how to replace Broomfield's partnership as the project moves ahead.
If the project moves ahead.