State Parks’ obfuscation in attempting to discredit several years of air pollution studies with their own new studies reminds me of the studies the tobacco companies funded to disprove research that showed that cigarettes were killing us. For decades, the tobacco companies even told us that smoking was good for us. Now, State Parks is acting like a tobacco company, trying to protect its off-road recreation business in Oceano, using the same tactics.
We know that when sand dunes are left in their natural state, a “crust” or lamina is formed that helps reduce the amount of smaller particles that become airborne when the winds blow across the sand. When combined with natural vegetation, preferably growing on fore dunes, it is possible to completely eliminate the unhealthful levels of particulate matter air pollution. State Parks needs to operate their off-road recreation business in a manner that meets state clean air standards, just like any other business — and to stop acting like a tobacco company.