Denver Direct: Ducks Redux

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Ducks Redux

First, let me give credit where credit is due: George in Denver has done a fantastic job of shedding more light on the story of the “Killing Fields” in Denver’s parks. His analysis and compassion are greatly appreciated.

Secondly, let me again give credit to Adrienne Anderson. This woman has an intensity and singleness of purpose that will not be denied. Despite what she’s been through, she will just not give up.

I went with her to the Webb Building to conduct the research of the records she cites below. This short video documents that excursion.

What follows are Adrienne’s comments (Oct 18) to George’s post. I’ve lifted them in their entirety in the hopes of creating additional exposure for her new findings. Once again, this is not her speculation. This is what her research revealed, in black and white, from the City’s own records.

“Records obtained under the Colorado Open Records Act in September reveal that:

1) the city’s own personnel in 2004-2005 attributed the decline in water quality in City Park’s Ferril Lake to the 2004 switch to sewage effluent water (so-called “recycled water”).

2) Ferril Lake, according to the city’s own tests, did not meet state standards for lake water, and had elevated levels of several dissolved metals.

3) at the height of the duck deaths around Labor Day in 2007, the city, despite recommendations from its own staff, decided not to collect a water sample from the lake.

4) duck deaths at City Park’s Ferril lake were occurring “daily” during a period in 2005, prompting complaints that City Councilwoman Marcia Johnson advanced to the city’s Environmental Health division for response. At the time, the sole source of water to the lake was “recycled water” and this was in the same period, records show, that the lake did not meet water quality standards, as a result, the city staffers suggested, of the switch to the sewage effluent water.

5) e-mails among city officials revealed that they had extensive discussions about what to do about Claudia Cragg, an international investigative journalist who was pursuing the story for KGNU radio. The content of these e-mails, 100% of it, was blacked out. So much for the public’s “right to know.”

6) The City and County of Denver had a conflict of interest over this, as the owner of the Lowry Landfill Superfund Site, where they are the EPA-designated top liable party, along with the company Denver hired to manage it, the nefarious Waste Management, Inc. of reported mafia fame.

7) It wasn’t alleged by the public interest group conducting an independent investigation of the duck deaths that it was the radiation in the water that killed the ducks. There are hundreds of toxic and radioactive compounds at Lowry Landfill that are being released to the Metro sewage system that would not be treatable by the processes in place. The release of radioactive substances, including water miscible ones, is just the most outrageous aspect of the deal, that even plutonium is considered an “acceptable” element for release under the permit issued, and now going down in our town. Pick your poison(s). The city doesn’t bother to test for the full range of compounds in the effluent going to Metro Wastewater, or in the lakes now receiving the non-potable sewage effluent water. Neither does Denver Water. And if they do, they refused to release it pursuant to a Colorado Open Records Act request. Denver Water also attempted to refuse release of records awhile back claiming “Homeland Security” exemptions. Doesn’t that make you feel safer?

8) No test results have been released to date, now over 8 months later, of the duck carcasses reportedly collected for testing by the Division of Wildlife and US Fish and Wildlife Service when nearly 1,000 ducks drowned after floating into Metro Wastewater’s ponds, reported by wildlife rehabbers to be coated with a sticky slick substance “contaminants on their feathers” which caused the stripping of natural oils of the ducks feathers which allow them to float. Radiation in the water wouldn’t do that, but certain Lowry Landfill semi-volatile toxic substances would. Repeated calls to the agency get no response on the point and they all contradict one another about why no test results have been produced over the deaths of nearly 1,000 ducks at Metro Wastewater’s sewage ponds last winter.

9) Mass bird die-offs at numerous sites around the world have been attributed to botulism-related sewage waste-contaminated water.

If it walks like a duck, quacks like a duck…”

Adrienne Anderson
[email protected]

And lastly, now with the Sloans Lake fishkill of just three days ago, with its water coming directly from Coors, one of the biggest polluters of record, new evidence begins to surface that Denver’s parks and lakes are, indeed, becoming Denver’s “Killing Fields”.

Are you starting to get it?

The City of Denver is colluding with our largest polluters to get the toxic runoff off of their property and on to ours. The final stage in this process is the “tertiary treatment” facility – our lakes and parks, by contract, for the next fifty freaking years!