Two committees appointed to find ways to reduce dust pollution on the Nipomo Mesa will hold their first joint meeting Wednesday in San Luis Obispo.
The groups will meet from 9 a.m. to noon in the San Luis Obispo library community room at 995 Palm St. The public is welcome to observe the proceedings.
The goal of the groups is to implement pilot programs in the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area by the spring. These programs will attempt to reduce the amount of windblown sand coming from the park’s riding area.
One group is a seven-person technical advisory committee that will devise the dust-control measures. The other is a nine-person management oversight committee that will supervise the day-to-day workings of the technical group.
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Items on the agenda for the kickoff meeting include responsibilities and timelines for both groups; the process for hiring a seventh, independent member of the technical committee; how pilot programs will be implemented; and future meeting dates.
The committees were appointed in August as a result of a recent memorandum of agreement among the county Air Pollution Control District, the county and State Parks. Each agency has supplied an equal number of members to the groups.
For decades, the Nipomo Mesa has had the worst particulate air pollution in the county. Some Mesa residents complain of elevated levels of asthma, bronchitis and other disorders linked to air pollution.
A recent study by the air district found a link between vehicle riding at the Oceano Dunes and that pollution. The study concluded that riding strips the dunes of vegetation and breaks down a crust that naturally forms on undisturbed expanses of sand, making it easier for sand particles to become wind-borne.
Under pressure from county supervisors, the committees have agreed to have a pilot program in place by March 1, the beginning of the windiest time of year.