Turns out we weren’t the only ones to detect something fishy in the EPA’s falsified evidence and the BLM’s rushed closure of California’s Clear Creek OHV area. The California State Off Highway Motor Vehicle Commission just completed its own risk assessment. Their conclusion? There’s more risk in smoking one cigarette per year than in riding at Clear Creek. Kind of makes us worry about second hand smoke.
In my original article on the subject, FOIA documents revealed that the EPA’s tests were flawed both in method — conducted during a time of year in which the OHV area is closed and using unrealistic vehicle scenarios — and apparently deliberately tampered with as well — despite being closed to the public and with no maintenance on record, the trails had clearly just been roughed up with a bulldozer. FOIA also revealed that the BLM had put pressure on the EPA to remove language from its assessment which suggested there was, in fact, no health risk due to the chrysotile mineral found in the area.
This new OHMV report is a huge PDF that’s too big to embed here, but you can download the whole thing here. As you can see, this third-party testing calls into question the validity of the EPA’s results and therefore the BLM’s decision to close Clear Creek.
With growing public pressure to see Clear Creek re-opened and questions being asked about it in Congress, it’s looking increasingly likely that the EPA and BLM may have to reverse their wrongdoing.