The Rocky Mountain Arsenal is a 27-square-mile federal installation located in Commerce City that was created during World War II to manufacture chemical warfare agents. The site was also leased to the Shell Oil Company for the production of pesticides from the 1950s through the 1980s. Once contamination of the site was discovered in the early 1970s, the facility was listed as a Superfund Site and has undergone extensive clean-up to become one of the nation’s largest urban wildlife refuges.
The wildlife refuge supports wildlife that includes bison, deer, coyotes, eagles, as well as numerous other bird species. The refuge is accessible to the public for sightseeing, wildlife viewing, historical tours and environmental education. Following clean-up, portions of the site have been deeded to Commerce City and are now the location of the Adams City High School, Commerce City Hall and Dick’s Sporting Goods Park. Many other projects are currently in the pipeline that will continue to enhance the Arsenal as an asset to Commerce City and surrounding communities.
Monitoring the Environment
Tri-County Health Department's Rocky Mountain Arsenal Oversight Program monitors ground water surrounding the Arsenal to verify that cleanup activities are protective to visitors and the community. The program samples domestic water wells, provides continuing regulatory oversight of ongoing/completed remediation activities, and presents an annual report on our activities to the Adams County Commissioners. These reports are available to the public during regular office hours.
For more information or to report concerns, call Deanne Kelly at 303-288-6816. Other points of contact include:
Environmental Protection Agency: 303-312-6661
Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment: 303-692-3321