Residents near the polluted Rocky Mountain Arsenal say the cleanup of a chemical dumping pond has caused respiratory ailments and other health problems, and they want the state to evacuate them.
Gov. Roy Romer on Tuesday promised medical examinations for families worried about their health but said the evidence so far from the Army, the Environmental Protection Agency and the state Health Department does not justify an evacuation.He said the Army, under the cleanup begun last spring, will put a foot-thick clay cap over contaminated soil by Dec. 30 to prevent blowing dust and fumes.
The group Poisoned Arsenal Neighborhood of Irondale Community says residents of a six-mile area suffer from ailments caused by chemicals stirred up during the cleanup at the site, situated in a sparsely populated rural area.
"If somebody brought me information at 4 p.m. today that those citizens are in danger, I'd order an evacuation immediately," Romer said.
Twice this month, the Army has evacuated workers during the $4.5 million cleanup of Basin F because of fumes from the 93-acre dumping pond.