Another municipal lamb to the Rocky Flats nonsense slaughter

(Damn–thought I’d published this on March 12th!) On Monday, March 11 the Westminster City Council appears to have capitulated to the usual earnest misinformation onslaught from the usual suspects: Peace&Justice, Jon Lipsky, Randy Stafford, Chris Allred, a Physicians for Social Responsibility spokesperson and an orchestrated phone-message campaign. This is a reminder (like Superior’s and Broomfield’s examples) that repetition of false claims and anecdotes can convince the unprepared. Some council members appeared disappointed that the trails in Westminster open space and the Refuge are almost complete and that the Indiana Street bridge (being built offsite) connecting them will be ready for installation soon, since this prevents them from publicly plunking down on the “right side” of the issue. The Council appeared happy to use the precedent of prior actions by Superior and Broomfield to justify to their financial and political commitments to the Rocky Mountain Greenway project. While they were exhorted not to accept normalization of the use of contaminated lands, on the Council will be responsibility for recreational users crossing Indiana if the bridge installation is blocked.

By failing to prepare before any Rocky Flats-related action, city councils set themselves up to be sucker punched—they react (on recorded video in real time) to the misinformation and make statements they cannot easily retract. This boxes them in before they have time to analyze the credibility of speakers and statements and makes it appear (if they DO backtrack) that they are putting public health at risk.

Meanwhile, take a look at which has a terse 4-page PDF of data about soil radiation and dose, and a bibliography for those who’d like to follow up. There are even RESRAD output files (showing details of dose and risk calculations including not just Am and Pu but the natural radioisotopes shown to be present (in the amounts NIST found), with all transport and erosion switched off to see the effects of half-lives.

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