Judge dismisses Colorado refuge public access lawsuit

Posted at 11:05 AM, Sep 30, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-30 13:05:45-04

DENVER (AP) — A federal judge has dismissed a lawsuit alleging that opening a wildlife refuge near Denver to the public could be a health hazard for visitors.

Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge is the former site of a nuclear weapons plant that operated for four decades.

The Denver Post reports U.S. District Judge Christine Arguello ruled Friday that local activists don’t have cause to sue yet. Arguello pointed out federal officials have not begun plans to build trails and a visitor center at Rocky Flats.

An attorney for the plaintiffs says the judge left the door open to challenge future decisions about public access to areas of the wildlife refuge.

The Rocky Flats plant closed in 1989. Thousands of nearby homeowners in 2016 reached a $375 million settlement over plutonium contamination.