The Rocky Flats Citizens Advisory Board (RFCAB) was formed in 1993 to provide independent, community-based recommendations on the cleanup of Rocky Flats. The Board is comprised of approximately 25 individuals representing a diversity of views and interests from the community around Rocky Flats.
RFCAB members represent:
- Academic institutions
- Administrative / business
- Community / neighbors
- Local government
- Health care providers
- Public interest groups and environmental organizations
- Rocky Flats employees
- Technical disciplines
RFCAB receives an annual grant from the Department of Energy to fund its staff, operating expenses, contract research projects, and outreach efforts.
Each year the Board develops a work plan that includes a prioritized list of issues it will address. During 2001, the Board is addressing issues such as soil cleanup levels, the site closure plan, long-term stewardship, environmental restoration, and building remediation and demolition plans.
Certain issues are assigned to committees, others are addressed by the Board as a whole, and the remaining issues are assigned to staff or individual Board members for tracking and updating as necessary. At present the Board has three standing committees: one for environmental restoration issues, one for stewardship issues, and one that provides oversight to an ongoing study of the movement of radioactive materials through the environment. Additional ad hoc committees or focus groups will be formed as needed to address specific documents or issues.
The Board spent most of 1999 developing an overall vision for the cleanup of Rocky Flats. This vision document is available on our web site and contains recommendations for most of the major cleanup issues at the site.
Citizens Advisory Board recommendations are presented to the Department of Energy, the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency as needed. Since its inception, RFCAB has developed and approved around 100 consensus recommendations on Rocky Flats cleanup issues, including its vision in 1999. The agencies consider this advice as part of their decision-making process. A summary of recommendations and agency responses is included in the Board’s Annual Report each year.
RFCAB Mission Statement
The Rocky Flats Citizens Advisory Board, a nonpartisan, broadly representative, independent advisory board with concerns related to Rocky Flats activities, is dedicated to providing informed recommendations and advice to the agencies (Department of Energy, Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, and the Environmental Protection Agency), government entities and other interested parties on policy and technical issues related to cleanup, waste management, and associated activities. The Board is dedicated to public involvement, awareness, and education on Rocky Flats issues.
History of the RFCAB
The U.S. Department of Energy decided in 1993 to initiate the formation of Site Specific Advisory Boards (SSABs) at its former nuclear weapons complex sites. Development of the advisory boards was one of the recommendations that had just been put forth by a national committee studying ways to improve public involvement in cleanup decisions for contaminated federal facilities.
In June 1993, Colorado Governor Roy Romer and Congressman David Skaggs requested that the Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment (CDPHE) and the Region VIII Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) work jointly to develop an SSAB for Rocky Flats.
An EPA/CDPHE selection committee reviewed more than 200 applications for RFCAB. At a series of meetings, public participants devised a set of representational categories for the Board. The selection committee used these categories in choosing the initial six Board members. These first members then selected the remaining members.
RFCAB became one of the first SSABs in the nation’s nuclear weapons complex. There are now 11 boards around the complex, including Hanford, Washington; Savannah River, South Carolina; Oak Ridge, Tennessee; the Nevada Test Site; and others. The boards now work together on issues of national concern through seminars, workshops, conference calls, and SSAB chair meetings.
Join Our Efforts
The Citizens Advisory Board meets on the first Thursday evening of each month. All of the Board’s meetings are open to the public and there is time reserved for public comment.
Anyone interested in the cleanup of Rocky Flats may apply to become a Board member. Primary membership criteria include a time commitment of at least two evenings per month, a desire to work with others in developing consensus recommendations on cleanup, and the ability to fill a representational category for which the Board has an opening. Women and minorities are strongly encouraged to apply.
The Board has developed a 20-30 minute slideshow that covers Rocky Flats history and cleanup issues and ways citizens can become involved. Please contact the RFCAB office if you would like to schedule a slideshow for your organization. RFCAB also publishes a quarterly newsletter that presents information about Rocky Flats cleanup as well as activities of the Citizens Advisory Board.