The Rocky Mountain Arsenal once home to chemical manufacturing facilities in support of the World War II and some parts of the land was used for the Prisoner of War camp. The Arsenal’s location was selected due to its relative distance from the coast. The weather that conducive or suitable to outdoor work, and the appropriate type of soil needed for the project. The location was also close to Stapleton Airfield, a major transportation hub. The land was also used by some private industries to manufacture pesticides. This operations in the sites resulted in the contamination of the soil and ground water, and loss of native species. In 1992, the Congress passed the Rocky Mountain Arsenal National Act, designating the site as a future refuge. Since then, the Rocky Mountain Arsenal has been transformed from environ mental clean-up site into a premier Urban National Wildlife Refuge. Each year, thousands of visitors come to the refuge to appreciate its wildlife and view the scenic habitats. The Arsenal has been called a significant habitat island for wildlife and a place to renew the relationship with the nature.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal: Past and Present
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal (RMA) is located in Denver Metropolitan area, Commerce City, Colorado, approximately 10 miles North-East of downtown of Denver. In 1942, at the height of World War II, the United States Army purchased the 19,915 acres of land at a cost of $62, 415,000 on which to manufacture chemical weapons in support of the war.
Weapons manufactured at Rocky Mountain Arsenal included both conventional and chemical munitions, including White Phosphorus (M34 grenade), Napalm, Mustard Gas, Lewisite, and Chlorine Gas. Rocky Mountain Arsenal also one of the few sites that had a stock-file of Sarin Gas (Nerve Agent GB), one of the most toxic substances ever created in a lab. Rocket fuel was also manufactured in the arsenal in support of the Air Force operations.
Rocky Mountain Arsenal was selected in this type of operation because the location was near to the coast, not likely to be attacked; close to the major transportation hub, accessible by highways, rails, and airport ( Stapleton Airfield); sufficient labor force to work at the site; the weather was favorable to outdoor operations; and the soil was the perfect type needed for the project.
The Rocky Mountain Arsenal was constructed into two major plants (North Plant and South Plant), to reference specific operations and function. The North Plants area is a 90 acres complex consisting of 103 structures located in the north central portion of Rocky Mountain Arsenal. North Plants structure includes: chemical manufacturing facilities, storage and warehouse buildings, chemical storage tanks, disposal systems and various support facilities. The complex was classified as a secret installation, it was built primarily to manufacture the chemical nerve agent GB1 also known as Sarin, and...