SLO County Grand Jury finds Nipomo Mesa residents at health risk from bad air

High levels of PM2.5, PM10 found in air from dunes

SAN LUIS OBISPO COUNTY, Calif. - Is there a health risk to the residents on the Nipomo Mesa and nearby communities caused by high levels of PM2.5 and PM10 particulate in the air? The San Luis Obispo County Grand Jury seems to think so.

The Grand Jury released a report into their investigation of the matter. They determined that the particulate air pollution is caused by off-highway vehicle activities in the La Grande Tract of the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreational Area.

But, there is hope. The report says there is a multi-year plan from State Parks and the SLO County Air Pollution Control District in the works to mitigate the health risks to residents. The report reads:

After ten years of an often adversarial relationship between the APCD and State Parks regarding the source of the particulate air pollution, and how best to mitigate it, the relationship between the APCD and State Parks may have recently changed for the better. This change has resulted in a jointly-approved (APCD and State Parks) remediation plan proposed by State Parks and accepted by the APCD Hearing Board. This plan has the potential to reduce particulate air pollution, and its associated health risk to residents of the Nipomo Mesa and nearby communities within a five-year time-frame.

Should the State Parks plan fail to meet its goal of eliminating most of the exceedances of PM2.5 and PM10 air quality standards within the five-year time frame proposed, the 2017-2018 Grand Jury recommends the BoS [Board of Supervisors] and the APCD Hearing Board act decisively in the public interest and drastically restrict vehicular riding activity on the La Grande Tract and facilitate relocating the camping and riding areas to the southern end of the ODSVRA, near Oso Flaco Lake.

The full transcript of the Grand Jury report can be found here.

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