Recently Released Report

Drake's Bay Oyster Company Environmental Impact Statement


We investigated allegations against unnamed employee(s) from either the National Park Service (NPS) or its contractor, Vanasse Hangen Brustlin (VHB). According to the allegations, either NPS or VHB altered, concealed, or unfavorably misrepresented data in a draft environmental impact statement (EIS). The EIS was prepared as a part of the process for issuing a special use permit (SUP) to Drakes Bay Oyster Company to continue its oyster farming business in Point Reyes National Seashore.

The data in question led to the assessment of the Company’s oyster farming equipment as having a “major” impact on Point Reyes National Seashore’s soundscape. A “major” impact finding means that the equipment negatively affected both
potential wilderness and wilderness areas. In addition, the complainant claimed edits to draft versions of the EIS intentionally misrepresented information to deceive the public, peer reviewers, and decisionmakers. Moreover, the complainant alleged the deceptive information in the draft EIS constituted fraud. The complainant, as well as the Company’s owner, claimed the initiation of the EIS process to issue an SUP was unwarranted and therefore wasted taxpayer funds.

We found no evidence, documents, DEIS revisions, or witnesses that supported the complainant’s allegations.

Read the full report here.