Dune denouement?: After a lengthy impasse, a lawsuit and dust control measures aim to end the Oceano Dunes status quo
BY RHYS HEYDEN
Sand dunes are complicated, unstable, constantly shifting, and abrasive—a delight to some, and a nuisance to others.
Fittingly, all of those adjectives are equally suitable for describing the years-long dispute over the regulation of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (ODSVRA).
At the heart of the debate is a coarse, airborne dust called PM10 (particulate matter with a mean aerodynamic diameter of 10 microns or less). Studies have shown that levels of PM10 on the Nipomo Mesa, a residential area downwind of the ODSVRA, are dangerously high, with the potential to adversely affect the health of residents.
While no one disputes the high levels of PM10, there’s tremendous disagreement about the source of the air pollution. After numerous studies, lawsuits, and highly public tiffs, stakeholders across the spectrum have, essentially, fought to an impasse.
In the past few weeks, however, an aggressive lawsuit from a group of concerned Mesa residents and emergency dust control measures approved for implementation by California State Parks have busted through the status quo, from opposite ends of the spectrum.
Though air quality advocates feel that the State Parks measures aren’t good enough, and OHV advocates feel that the lawsuit will be unsuccessful, both are steps in the direction of change.
“Controlling dust from the [ODSVRA] should just be a simple, regulatory matter, but it’s turned into an ugly political, litigious mess,” said San Luis Obispo County 3rd District Supervisor Adam Hill.
The matter of mitigating (or not mitigating) dust in the dunes has involved several key stakeholders: SLO County government (both the Board of Supervisors and the county Air Pollution Control District [APCD]), State Parks, citizens living on the Nipomo Mesa, and off-highway vehicle (OHV) advocates like the Friends of Oceano Dunes and Kevin P. Rice.To read the full article.... http://www.newtimesslo.com/news/10742/dune-denouement-after-a-lengthy-impasse-a-lawsuit-and-dust-control-measures-aim-to-end-the-oceano-dunes-status-quo/