The Record of Decision for cleanup of the Rocky Mountain
Arsenal was signed today by the U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency, the U.S. Army and the State of Colorado at a ceremony
held at the Arsenal. The ROD outlines specific implementation
methods for remediation of contamination at this Superfund site.
Shell Oil Company and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service,
although not legal signatories to the ROD, presented letters
affirming support of the document and were present at the ROD
signing. Shell and the U.S. Army are responsible for the
cleanup, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible
for wildlife and habitat management at the Arsenal. The
Environmental Protection Agency and the Colorado Department of
Public Health and Environment will oversee cleanup operations.
"The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is one of the largest
Superfund sites and most studied hazardous waste sites in the
country. The Army and Shell have spent almost two decades
identifying the types and location of contamination here. We
have incorporated this knowledge into the Record Of Decision,
said Togo D. West Jr., secretary of the Army. "With many
interim response actions already completed, significant cleanup
has already been achieved. As we move into the final phase of
cleanup, the Army, Shell and the Fish and Wildlife Service share
the goal of the communities of making the Arsenal a premier
"This Record of Decision marks a milestone in the
Department of Defense's commitment to the cleanup of Rocky
Mountain Arsenal," said Sherri W. Goodman, deputy undersecretary
of Defense for Environmental Security.
The ROD calls for continued operation of the existing
groundwater treatment systems; installation of a new groundwater
extraction system in the central part of the Arsenal; long-term
groundwater monitoring; treatment of 200,000 cubic yards of
contaminated soil; construction of an on-site hazardous waste
landfill to dispose of 1.7 million cubic yards of contaminated
soil; and demolition and on-site disposal of structures.
"With the signing of this historic document, we are now
entering a new era in the cleanup and management of the Rocky
Mountain Arsenal, said Colorado Gov. Roy Romer. Our challenge
now is to work together to ensure that this cleanup plan is
implemented in a safe, practical, efficient and timely manner.
By staying committed to our collective goals and addressing legal
and technical issues that may arise, we will ensure that this
vast open space will provide critical wildlife habitat and
enjoyment for Coloradans and the nation for years to come.
Lt. Gov. Gail Schoettler was asked by Gov. Romer to take
the lead in efforts to resolve Arsenal cleanup issues for the
state more than a year ago. The key to finalizing cleanup
negotiations was bringing all five organizations together with
neighboring communities in numerous intensive meetings. The
Record of Decision reflects the agreement reached during those
sessions and the commitment of everyone to protect human health
and the environment, Schoettler said. She also commended the
citizens for their dedication to the process.
In addition to the various cleanup actions, a medical
monitoring program will ensure that community health is not
adversely affected by the cleanup. Safety procedures will be
designed into all cleanup activities to protect workers and
wildlife at the Arsenal including odor and dust control programs
to mitigate potential releases during cleanup. The public will
be kept informed about remediation activities at the Arsenal.
"As we embark on the ambitious cleanup tasks described
today, we should remember that the most immediate threats from
contamination here have already been dealt with," said Jack
McGraw, acting regional administrator for EPA Region 8. "The
incineration of 10.5 million gallons of Basin F liquid stopped
the movement of contaminants and protected Arsenal neighbors'
drinking water. Our path has not always been smooth, but today's
event underscores a powerful partnership that will help assure a
safe, efficient cleanup."
The Army has spent approximately $750 million dollars to
date and estimates that the Arsenal cleanup will cost
approximately $2 billion to complete.
The EPA and the State will continue to oversee cleanup
operations. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service is responsible
for managing wildlife and habitat at the Arsenal.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a 27 square-mile Superfund
site 10 miles northeast of downtown Denver. The Army produced
chemical weapons there beginning in 1942 until 1969, and later
leased manufacturing facilities to companies including Shell.
Shell produced pesticides at the Arsenal from 1952-1982. Water
and soil contamination occurred over the years primarily due to
waste disposal methods commonly practiced at the time. The
Arsenal was added to the National Priorities List of Superfund
sites in 1987. In 1992, the U.S. Congress designated the Arsenal
a National Wildlife Refuge upon completion of the cleanup.
For more information, contact Lt. Col. Nancy Burt,
Department of Defense Public Affairs, (703) 697-5131, Maura
Meehan, Army Public Affairs, (703) 697-5081, or Bill Thomas,
Rocky Mountain Arsenal Public Affairs, (303) 289-0143.