DENVER — The Office of the Attorney General joined its partner agencies today in praising the award of nearly $2.5 million in natural resource damage funds to support projects aimed at restoring and improving the open space surrounding the former Rocky Flats nuclear weapons site.
“These five projects will help preserve and restore yet another important swath of Colorado open space for future generations,” Attorney General John Suthers said. “This is a welcome development in the joint effort of Colorado and the federal government to transform the former nuclear weapons plant into a wildlife refuge.”
“The selected projects will benefit the region’s natural resources and demonstrate the commitment of our local communities and other partners to improving our environment,” said Jim Martin, executive director of the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment. “Our partners’ matching contributions will nearly triple the impact of these very worthwhile projects.”
Suthers, Martin and Ron Cattany, director of the Division of Reclamation, Mining and Safety, are Colorado’s representatives on the Rocky Flats trustees council.
The nearly $2.5 million worth of grants will help underwrite projects from the Jefferson County Nature Association, the city and county of Boulder, the town of Superior, the city of Westminster and the Trust for Public Land. The grant projects will purchase mineral rights at the Rocky Flats site, underwrite weed control and native seed collection, purchase open space around the property and fund the restoration of native plants at the site. The project proponents will match the grant funds with nearly $7.4 million in cash and in-kind contributions.
The grant projects complement a more than decade-long effort to convert Rocky Flats, which produced nuclear weapons from 1952 to 1989, into a wildlife refuge. The Department of Energy finished its clean-up of the site in 2005.
The decision to award the money was made by the state and federal natural resource trustees for Rocky Flats. Under the federal Superfund law, Colorado’s governor designated the Attorney General, the head of the Department of Public Health and Environment and the Department of Natural Resources as the state natural resource trustees. As to the Rocky Flats site, they are joined by federal trustees, the U.S. Department of Energy and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.
To learn more about the five projects, visit www.cdphe.state.co.us/HM/rf/