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SPOTLIGHT

1. PUBLIC LANDS

Asbestos concerns prompt closure of Clear Creek; ORV users to file lawsuit

A sudden and controversial closure last week of one of the country's top off-road vehicle recreational spots has stirred up tremendous rancor, with many groups saying they will pursue the only option left to them -- a lawsuit.

An alliance of groups, mostly representing ORV and other recreational interests, are lambasting both U.S. EPA's recently released study of asbestos exposure risks at the Clear Creek Management Area and the Bureau of Land Managment's subsequent decision to close off public access to the vast area, located in California's San Benito and Fresno counties.

However, many groups and individuals are discounting the scientific basis of EPA's study and claiming the type of asbestos found at CCMA is not dangerous.

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