Plans for Oceano Dunes dust control could mean more closures. Here’s how to weigh in

California State Parks will unveil its plans to reduce dust this spring from the Oceano Dunes at public meeting Tuesday, including details about its recent closure of 20 acres of off-road vehicle riding areas.

The dust-control efforts are the first phase in a five-year plan to bring relief to downwind communities on the Nipomo Mesa.

Members of the public will have an opportunity to comment on the plan after a State Parks presentation to the Air Pollution Control District Hearing Board that begins at 9 a.m. at the County Government Center at 1055 Monterey St. in San Luis Obispo.

Those who are unable to attend can submit comments to info@slocleanair.org.

State Parks was scheduled to provide their defense in a hearing about whether dust from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area is a public nuisance. That has been postponed until March. The hearing process could result in an abatement order to shut down hundreds of acres in the most popular off-highway vehicle park in the state.

Parks staff have recently fenced off 20 acres of riding area to install permanent revegetation of native plants in areas that the California Air Resources Board identified as hot spots for dust emissions.

The next opportunity to comment in person on the future of the Oceano Dunes is at a Coastal Commission meeting Feb. 7. There, commissioners will hear an update on the status of dust-control efforts. That meeting begins at 9 a.m. at 2905 Burton Drive in Cambria.

State Parks proposes to implement the following dust-control efforts from January to October 2018, according to the draft plan can be found in exhibits for the Coastal Commission meeting that describes some of the plans.

▪  Install vegetation in about 18 to 20 acres of open sand.

▪  Install wind fencing in about 40 acres of open sand.

▪  Install an experimental area of 2 to 3 acres to test the effectiveness of a vehicle closure in reducing sand transport.

▪  Install an array of sand flux, meteoraological, and air-quality monitoring equipment to test the effectiveness of dust-reduction strategies during the 2018 windy season.

▪  Install operational mitigation measures in targeted areas of the Dunes.

Correction: This article previously mis-stated the date of the Coastal Commission meeting. The correct date is Feb. 7.

Monica Vaughan: 805-781-7930, @MonicaLVaughan

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