SLO County air board cancels meeting

Lack of a quorum means group won’t meet until September

dsneed@thetribunenews.comJuly 24, 2013 

The July meeting of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District board planned for Wednesday was canceled due to the lack of a quorum. The board will not likely meet again until late September.

Although the agenda had several budget items on it, the two-month delay will not hamper the operations of the department, said Larry Allen, county air pollution control officer.

“I don’t see an emergency, but it will be up to the board to decide if they want a special meeting,” he said.

On Wednesday, the board was scheduled to adopt the district’s budget for the 2013-14 fiscal year as well as approve an updated fee schedule that includes three new fees totaling $49,240 to cover expenses associated with monitoring and compliance verification for the Oceano Dunes dust abatement rule.

The dust rule requires the State Parks Department to reduce the number of days that air quality on the Nipomo Mesa exceeds state standards for particulates due to dust blowing off the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

The rule has been controversial, and some members of the air board, including Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson, have called for it to be repealed. There has also been opposition to the proposed fees.

The fees are not an attempt to recover past costs associated with the dust rule. Instead, they are a standard means of recovering ongoing oversight costs, Allen said in a staff report.

The 12-person board needs seven members present for a quorum, but only six were available for Wednesday’s meeting. The board consists of all county supervisors and a representative from each of the county’s seven municipalities.

Wednesday’s absences were due to scheduling conflicts and vacations as well as the recent death of County Supervisor Paul Teixeira. The air board meets every other month.

“Many city councils often go dark in July,” Allen said. “I’ll be suggesting that in the future we move our meeting from July to June.”

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