DENVER (AP) — A U.S. official has harshly criticized a Colorado health officer for questioning the safety of a former nuclear weapons plant that was converted into a wildlife refuge.
The government plans to open hiking trails and visitor facilities this year on the Rocky Flats National Wildlife Refuge, where a plant made plutonium triggers for nuclear weapons for decades.
The Associated Press obtained an email that refuge manager David Lucas sent after Jefferson County health director Mark Johnson told The Denver Post that he doesn't know if the refuge is safe despite a $7 billion cleanup.
Johnson also questioned the trustworthiness of federal officials who assure its safety and the expertise of state officials who helped supervise the cleanup.
Lucas said Johnson should retract his comments.
Johnson says he stands by his statements about site safety but wishes he had expressed concerns about state officials differently.