Environment: Rockies Menace

Toxic waste at an arsenal

On the outskirts of Denver, a storehouse of potential death sprawls across 27 sq. mi. of rolling prairie. It is the site of the U.S. Army's Rocky Mountain Arsenal, which produced weapons and chemical agents until 1969. It now harbors corroded canisters of mustard gas, lethal phosphorus wastes from incendiary bombs, unexploded rockets and mortar shells embedded in a former firing range, millions of cubic yards of soil peppered with pesticides and an abandoned five-story production plant contaminated with nerve gas. Two vast man-made lagoons, once used as...

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