Advocacy groups file petition to unseal nearly 30-year-old grand jury records on Rocky Flats

The Denver Post: Community groups have filed a petition asking the federal government to unseal almost 30-year-old grand jury documents against a former nuclear weapons plant, now the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and Superfund site.

Seven community groups are asking a U.S. District Court to release the investigative records from a 1989-1992 grand jury investigation into criminal conduct by the plant’s managing contractor at the time because of environmental concerns. Rockwell International Corp. pleaded guilty in 1992 to 10 federal environmental law violations, according to a news release from Pat Mellen Law LLC, the firm representing the groups.

“… the documents may provide evidence of unreported and unaddressed residual plutonium contamination and other ongoing environmental dangers at Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge and the adjoining Superfund site,” the release said.

The 5,237-acre refuge, about 16 miles northwest of Denver, surrounds a restricted area where plutonium triggers for nuclear bombs were produced. The Environmental Protection Agency had identified the Superfund site that surrounds the refuge as one of the most contaminated sites in America. But after a 2006 federal and state cleanup of the now-refuge, federal agencies consider the area usable, despite concerns from community activists and some lawmakers.

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