Asbestos hazard forces 31,000-acre land closing

8 May 2008 by under Events

ba clear creek graphic 150x150 Asbestos hazard forces 31,000 acre land closingApproximately 31,000 acres of public land in California’s Clear Creek Management Area (CCMA) have been closed to all forms of entry and public use by the U.S. Department of the Interior Bureau of Land Management, based on the results of an Environmental Protection Agency CCMA Asbestos Exposure and Human Health Risk Assessment. The closure order was issued by the Bureau on May 1.

The closure order states, “This closure is necessary to protect public land users from human health risks associated with exposure to airborne asbestos in the CCMA based upon a final report issued by the Environmental Protection Agency that concludes that public use activities could expose an individual to excess lifetime cancer risks. The order will remain in effect while the BLM completes a Resource Management Plan for the CCMA to determine if and how visitor use can occur without associated health risks.”

The risk in this area comes from natural deposits of asbestos. Asbestos is linked to mesothelioma, a deadly lung cancer.

The San Francisco Chronicle, on the SFGate.com web site, quotes Jere Johnson, a project manager with the , as saying, “Frankly, we were surprised at how high the levels of asbestos are at Clear Creek. What we found is that there is a lot of asbestos in the soil, and when you disturb the soil it poses a health risk.”

Chronicle reporter Carolyn Jones says outdoor enthusiasts are not happy about the area’s closing, and are skeptical of the danger. She quotes Don Amador, Western representative for the Blue Ribbon Coalition, an outdoor advocacy group, as saying, “It’s unprecedented, as far as public land issues go. We’re going to want to fight it, either administratively or in court.”

The article says the area will most likely be off-limits for at least a few years, while the Bureau of Land Management completes its own study.

There will be a public meeting tonight at the Santa Clara Convention Center, 5001 Great America Parkway, from 6-9 p.m. There also will be an open house from 3-5 p.m. Additional meetings will be held from 6-8 p.m. May 19 at Veterans’ Memorial Hall, 649 San Benito Street in Hollister; and 6-8 p.m. May 21 at the Martin Luther King Jr. Library, Room 225, 150 E. San Fernando Street, San Jose.

If you live in the area, please let me know if you attend any of these meetings. We will follow this issue and let you know if there are new developments.

2 Responses to “Asbestos hazard forces 31,000-acre land closing”

  1. asbestos management

    That’s safety for you. Better safe than sorry.

  2. Marie-Luce475

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