US Department of Energy and Colorado Rocky Flats Agreement in Principle
UPDATE to Post – Click the links to view the documents:
On June 16, 1989 then-Governor Roy Romer held a press conference with W. Henson Moore, then-Under Secretary for the U.S. Department of Energy to announce their Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant Agreement in Principle (the Agreement was not yet signed). In the video Romer stressed that Colorado government must ensure that Rocky Flats was being operated safely by independent verification for both safety and protecting the health of Colorado citizens. The following linked video does not include the statement of W. Henson Moore.
Romer explained that the Agreement covered four (4) key areas: Surface water including drinking water to protect from Rocky Flats exotic toxics; Air emissions will include a new inventory and air quality monitoring; Underground aquifers will be monitored by 50 new groundwater wells; and, Waste stream track will reassess what Rocky Flats releases. What is not in the Agreement but will be discussed are Criticalities. Existing Rocky Flats waste sites to undergo accelerated cleaned-up 1) 881 Hillside; 2) The Mound; 3) East Trenches; 4) 903 Pad; 5) Solar Evaporation Ponds. Romer states that DOE will fund the Colorado oversight of Rocky Flats. Romer also stated the Agreement included (Section D) a very thorough health study of the health effects from Rocky Flats from 1953 to include a total toxicological review, dose reconstruction and quantitative risk assessment to determine exposures to citizens in the area.
Romer mentions Colorado Compliance Orders (of June 7,1989) and the fifth issue regarding Criticalities to ensure Rocky Flats is safe for public health without environmental damage.
The impetus of the above mentioned Agreement in Principle was not the June 7, 1989 Compliance Order (available on this web site) that the Colorado Department of Health (CDH) served on Rocky Flats. The impetus was the June 6, 1989 FBI Search Warrant Application and Affidavit (available on this site) served that day on the U.S. Department of Energy and Rockwell International. CDH had been acquiring violations since June 1988 and refrained from issuing the Rocky Flats Compliance Order to negotiate DOE oversight funding similar to what the State of Washington secured with DOE at Hanford, the Tri-Party Agreement (http://www.hanford.gov/page.cfm/TriParty). The June 16, 1989 Romer press conference signaled that DOE would fund oversight at Rocky Flats.
In regards to surface water the EPA issued Rocky Flats a National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NPDES) permit in November 1984 (available on this web site). Question: did the EPA consider Rocky Flats waste streams, production effluent, and Spray Irrigation practices upon issuing the NPDES permit?
Did the DOE and State of Colorado implement a new and better air monitoring system?
In regards to aquifers the Rocky Flats Nuclear Weapons Plant was a National Priority List (NPL) candidate, a Superfund program, in 1984 for groundwater issues. Rocky Flats was designated an NPL site in September 1989.
In regards to waste streams Rocky Flats obtained a Resource Conservation and Recovery Act (RCRA) Part B permit in 1987. A condition of that permit required an assessment of the Rocky Flats waste streams. The April 6, 1987 Waste Stream Identification and Characterization (WSIC) report was to be completely honest under penalty of perjury. A portion of the WSIC Overview is available on this web site as well as the June 6, 1989 Search Warrant Application and Affidavit which referred to WSIC waste streams.
If Romer’s Agreement with DOE included remediation and accelerated clean-up of existing waste sites why were the Mound, East Trenches and Solar Evaporation Ponds converted to the present Plume Treatment Systems? Where did the funding go and who authorized the Agreement change?
Romer also was interested in critcalities at Rocky Flats. In Rocky Flats Building 886, Criticality Mass Laboratory (CML), “[T]he primary mission of Building 886 was to perform criticality measurements on a variety of fissile material configurations in support of plant activities. The criticality experiments and measurements were performed in order to establish criticality limits and ensure the safe handling and processing of fissile materials.” (http://www.lm.doe.gov/land/sites/co/rocky_flats/haer/base/Buildings/886.htm). Or was Romer interested in unplanned Rocky Flats criticalities as catalogued in “Building 771 History at the Rocky Flats Plant?” (the latter is available on this web site).
Finally, where is the very thorough health study of the effects from Rocky Flats from 1953 (sic) to include a total toxicological review, dose reconstruction and quantitative risk assessment to determine exposures to citizens in the area of Rocky Flats? Why was it necessary for the Rocky Flats Downwinders to request another health study by the State of Colorado to include thyroid cancers? The generous donation by United Steel Workers (USW) Local 8031 and leadership of Ms. Terrie Barrie, ANWAG, make the following video available to the public: