Letter to the Editor

Heads in the sand

Arroyo GrandeJuly 12, 2013 

I read with interest The Tribune’s July 7 article regarding Oceano Dunes dust rules. I could hardly believe a public official would start a petition that places unnecessary and environmentally destructive recreation above the need for public health.

It seems that Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson believes that just because the air pollution board has replaced a few members, the peer-reviewed science behind its past decisions isn’t valid. This attitude doesn’t really surprise me. As a 34-year veteran state environmental scientist (retired), I dealt with local politicians on a regular basis. I frequently found these representatives blinded to science by their indebtedness to local economics and special-interest groups.

I believe it’s time that the public demand their representatives support all efforts to improve public health. It’s particularly disappointing that State Parks allows SLO County residents to suffer particulate dust health impacts.

On further reflection, I guess those supporting Peterson’s petition would have trouble seeing a sand-dust problem, since their heads are buried in it. If they could raise them for a moment, they might see the justification for the air board’s efforts to control unnecessary pollution. Those of us with the need to breathe fresh air would appreciate it.

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