Today, Cause of Action (CoA), a government watchdog nonprofit, sent a letter to a bi-partisan group of Senators, House Members and other elected officials including Senator Feinstein and Chairman Issa, and the Marin County Board of Supervisors, regarding the Data Quality Act (DQA) complaint which stated, “on August 7, 2012, the Lunnys and Dr. Goodman, with the assistance of Cause of Action, a nonprofit dedicated to fighting arbitrary federal overreach, filed a DQA complaint with the National Park Service for its intentional use of inaccurate, non-transparent, and deliberately misleading information. Federal law requires that NPS respond within 60 days to this complaint, and either begin the process of correcting its errors or explain why it will not.”
These public officials were informed by CoA that “on or before October 8, 2012, NPS must respond to DBOC’s challenge to the quality of data used in the DEIS.”
NPS has a history of ignoring such complaints about the quality of their scientific data and ducking their responsibilities under law. Five years ago, in 2007, Drakes Bay Oyster Company (DBOC), joined by Marin Organic, Marin Farm Bureau, Pacific Institute and Pacific Coast Shellfish Growers Association, filed a DQA over inaccurate data and significant errors contained the NPS Report, “Drakes Estero, A Sheltered Wilderness Estuary.” The Point Reyes Light filed a second DQA over similar issues. NPS refused to respond to either formal complaint. Two years later, in July 2009, the NPS Report was subsequently discredited by the National Academy of Sciences (through their policy research division – the National Research Council’s Ocean Studies Board), and a separate investigation by the Interior Department’s Inspector General. Turns out, both DQA complaints were correct.
Shortly after CoA filed its Complaint last August, 2012, the National Academy of Sciences (National Research Council) issued a new Report in which they concluded that NPS science in the September 2011 Draft Environmental Impact Statement (DEIS) was riddled with errors, omissions and misrepresentations. In effect, the National Academy has already confirmed CoA concerns – that NPS science at Drakes Estero is tainted.
We are concerned that NPS will, a third time, find a way to evade and avoid their legal responsibilities under the DQA.
CoA letter addresses this issue stating that, “how NPS responds will have serious implications not just for the federal government’s credibility in the scientific community, but also on the livelihood of the many Californians employed by the DBOC, the target of NPS’s analysis.”
Attached, PDF is the CoA letter sent today, and the original DQA Complaint, submitted to NPS on August 7.