Will highway construction impact public health?

 
The Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge Act of 2001 authorized creation of a refuge and made a 300-foot wide strip of land available along the eastern boundary of the refuge for “transportation improvements” along Indiana Street. On Nov. 23, 2011, the National Fish & Wildlife Service determined that a proposal from the Jefferson Parkway Public Highway Authority application met the requirements of the Rocky Flats Refuge Act.
 
According to regulatory requirements and guidance, we and EPA agreed that the refuge lands, including the right-of-way, are acceptable for “unrestricted use and unlimited exposure.”

The existence of low levels of plutonium contamination in surface soil along the 300-foot right-of-way has been confirmed by several studies. This contamination is primarily due to wind-blown emissions from the former 903 Pad, a drum storage area where plutonium-containing coolant oils were stored in the 1950s and 1960s. These low levels of contamination pose minimal risks under any land use. The 31 soil samples analyzed for plutonium that were collected within the 300-foot right-of-way for the parkway average 1.4 picocuries (trillionths of a curie) per gram (pCi/g), which equates to a risk below one in a million for any exposure scenario. 
 
There are several state and federal environmental requirements that may apply to the proposed construction, such as a stormwater permit, dredge and fill permit, air permit, etc. 
 
Plutonium surface soil samples within 300 feet west of Indiana Street