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From: TSS ()
Subject: State representative says CWD research facility in Fort Collins should close
Date: March 7, 2005 at 7:08 pm PST

State representative says CWD research facility in Fort
Collins should close

written by : Paul Johnson (9NEWS Reporter)
posted by: Dan Viens (Web Producer)
Created: 3/2/2005 6:12 AM MST
Updated: 3/2/2005 8:08 AM MST

DENVER - A state lawmaker says a Colorado Division of
Wildlife research facility that is situated right next to
the City of Fort Collins water treatment plant should be

Democratic state representative Angie Paccione of Fort
Collins says since the DOW facility is conducting outdoor
research on Chronic Wasting Disease, it is not appropriate
for it to be located just several hundred feet from open
ponds that feed into the city's drinking water.

"This could be a tremendous public health issue if we don't
get on top of it right away" says Paccione.

Chronic Wasting Disease is a fatal, degenerative brain
disease that afflicts deer and elk in Colorado. It is caused
by a malformed protein called a prion, the same type of
infectious agent that causes Mad Cow Disease in cattle, and
fatal Creuztfeldt- Jacob disease in humans. A recent study
conducted at the Fort Collins research facility found that
prions associated with diseased animals could remain active
and infectious in the soil for up two years after an animal
died there.

Officials with the Division of Wildlife say there is no
science to suggest that the prions that cause CWD in deer
and elk could cause Creuzfeldt -Jacob disease in humans, as
was the case in Britain where Mad Cow disease jumped to
humans and killed over one hundred people. The Environmental
Protection Agency also believes that any prions blown into
the water treatment plant would be filtered out, although
they said that is not certain, and there is no known method
of testing to see if prions are being blown into the water
treatment plant.

Gene Schoonveld, a former DOW researcher and one of the
people who established the facility in the late 1960's now
believes it should be closed, saying "it is a disaster
waiting to happen." Other citizens have been quietly
lobbying the utility to do something about the research pens
and their proximity to city's drinking water.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson for the water treatment plant
told 9NEWS that officials there are now thinking about
discontinuing use of the outdoor ponds close to the research
pens, and will be contacting the DOW to see what the long
term plans for the facility are.

The DOW says there are currently about 30 deer at the
facility that are involved in Chronic Wasting Disease

(Copyright by KUSA-TV, All Rights Reserved)


Article published Mar 1, 2005

DOW says moving could stall research
Wasting disease facility scrutinized


Moving a Fort Collins live-animal research facility would
stall important research and distance the Colorado Division
of Wildlife from its workforce, a DOW official said Monday.

But the agency would at least consider the request if city
leaders asked.

A Fort Collins Water Board subcommittee is exploring whether
the proximity of the research facility - where the DOW
studies chronic wasting disease - to the city's raw water
treatment plant at 4316 W. LaPorte Ave. endangers city

The DOW research facility is immediately northwest of the
water treatment plant, and the agency has a lease through
2033 for the property, which is owned by Colorado State

"The location is pretty ideal for us," said Jeff Ver Steeg,
assistant DOW director and terrestrial wildlife manager.
"The further we get from town, the further we get from the
labor we need."

That labor includes CSU graduate students who use the
facility for research projects.

Chronic wasting disease is a fatal brain illness in deer and
elk. It's related to bovine spongiform encephalopathy, also
called mad cow disease, which can cause variant
Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease in humans.

Some say the proteins that cause chronic wasting disease,
called prions, could blow into holding ponds or air intake
vents at the water treatment plant.

Researchers say it's unlikely that chronic wasting disease
causes disease in humans, though they say there have been
few studies about the link and that humans might not be
completely protected.

"It's clear that at least some people on the committee
believe this is an issue the City Council ought to take a
look at," said John Bartholow, a water board member who
studies salmon for the U.S. Geological Survey.

Prions can live for years in the soil of an area infected
with the disease. City water managers say prions and other
proteins tend to cling to soil and other biosolids, meaning
they likely would stick to material that generally is
filtered out of the water system. There's no known way,
however, for the city to test for prions in water.

CSU's lease gives DOW full control over research conducted
at the site, though it allows CSU to review DOW research
proposals to make sure they won't threaten other CSU

CSU officials with knowledge about the lease could not be
reached Monday.


Article published Feb 26, 2005

City: Water safe from wasting disease
But treatment plant near DOW facility might halt recycling
to ease customers' fears


City water managers might halt water recycling at a
treatment plant near a chronic wasting disease research
facility, though they say the move would be to assuage
customer fears, not because the water poses a health risk.

The city could also ask the Colorado Division of Wildlife,
which leases the facility from Colorado State University, if
it would be willing to move the facility, Fort Collins
Utilities General Manager Mike Smith said Friday.

Fort Collins resident Jim Woodward and Boulder County
resident Rita Anderson last month told the city Water Board
they were concerned about the proximity of the DOW's
research facility to the city's wastewater treatment plant
at 4316 W. LaPorte Ave.

"You hate to give in to people's
hollering-fire-in-a-crowded-theater talk, because we're very
comfortable in what the (U.S. Environmental Protection
Agency) and regulators are saying," Smith said.

Smith also called the city a "pawn" in what he said could be
a broader effort to close down the DOW research site. He
said residents who drink city water should not be worried
about the water.

"We kind of feel like we're being put in the middle of a
dispute that really doesn't involve water quality at all,"
Smith said.

Still, a Water Board subcommittee is exploring whether the
research facility is a potential risk to city water.

Chronic wasting disease, or CWD, is an always-fatal brain
illness in deer and elk. CWD is related to bovine spongiform
encephalopathy, called BSE or mad cow disease, which in
humans can cause variant Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease, or vCJD.

Researchers first identified CWD at what is now the DOW
research facility in the late 1960s.

Public health officials say there is no demonstrated link
between chronic wasting disease and human Creutzfeldt-Jakob,
another brain wasting disease. According to a June 2004
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention report, no strong
links between the human version and CWD exist, though
studies have been limited.

The link between BSE and vCJD suggests that humans might not
be "completely protected" from animal prion diseases, the
CDC report said.

"I believe they should take every precaution if they don't
know," Anderson said.

Water captured in filters at the city's wastewater treatment
plant is pumped to a series of outdoor ponds at the
treatment plant. Some of that water - about 488 million
gallons last year - is treated to drinking water standards
and delivered to customer taps.

Last year, recycled water accounted for about 5.8 percent of
the 8.5 billion gallons delivered to about 200,000 Larimer
County residents served by city water.

Critics say the prions that cause CWD could blow into the
open-air ponds at the city's treatment plant. Local CWD
researchers and water managers say prions tend to latch on
to biosolids and, if they did blow into the ponds or get
into the water, would likely be treated out of the water

Currently, there's no way to test for prions in water.

"(Prion diseases) are new enough to science, new enough to
society, that they maybe tend to elicit more concern simply
because there's less known about them," said Mike Miller, a
DOW veterinarian who works at the Fort Collins research
facility and has studied CWD since the early 1980s.

In 2002, the DOW abandoned plans to build a tissue
incinerator on its research facility after Fort Collins'
water resources and treatment manager complained about the
possible negative public health consequences.

The DOW later proposed the incinerator be built near
Wellington. Woodward helped lead opposition to the proposal,
which was scrapped a year ago.


Location of CWD research facility causes public health

written by : Dan Viens (Web Producer)
reported by: Paul Johnson (9NEWS Reporter)
Created: 2/25/2005 10:20 AM MST -
Updated: 2/25/2005 5:25 PM MST

FORT COLLINS - The location of one of the best Chronic
Wasting Disease research facilities in the country has some
citizens concerned that it could contaminate a nearby water

The state-run Foothills Research Facility is located in Fort
Collins, right next to the city's water treatment plant.

The open-air facility studies the brain disease found in
some deer and elk. CWD is caused by protein called a prion.
It is similar to the causes of Mad Cow Disease and
Creutzfeldt Jacob Disease, which is fatal in humans.

A small group of scientists and activists say it not wise to
conduct open air CWD research so close to a water treatment

One former researcher at the state Division of Wildlife says
the fact that so much is unknown about the disease is reason
enough to keep the facility away from the water treatment

"The little that is known about Chronic Wasting Disease; we
possibly should limit all research or trials to a level 3
bio-containment facility," said Gene Schoonveld, one of the
disease's original researchers.

The facility is currently home to about 30 infected deer. A
recent study conducted at the facility reported that prions
in the soil could remain active for more than 2 years.

However, Division of Wildlife officials say there is no
science that suggests CWD in deer can make the jump to
humans. Also, DOW and Environmental Protection Agency
officials say the filters at the water treatment facility
would probably remove any prions that are blown into the

Even so, Gary Miller with the DOW says he understands the
location of the research facility makes it a target for

"If we were starting everything from ground zero, maybe
there could be a better spot," he says.

CWD was first found in captive deer at the facility in the
late 60s. In that amount of time there has not been any
effect on the water. The disease has spread to deer and elk
herds across the state.

(Copyright by KUSA-TV, All Rights Reserved)


bingo ;

Occurrence and Behaviour of BSE/TSE Prions in Soil Bonn, 18 ...
... Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety Bonn, 18 December ... first cases
of BSE in Germany turned this ... Perspective About 90 % of BSE cases occurring ... - 75k - Supplemental Result - Cached - Similar pages

By the way, what's your take on the Foothills Wildlife
Research Facility and its proximity to the Fort Collins
Water Treatment Plant?

well, with statements from gov officials like this ;

Researchers say it's unlikely that chronic wasting disease
causes disease in humans, though they say there have been
few studies about the link and that humans might not be
completely protected.

nothing to worry about right, with researchers like this, who needs


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