South County chambers ask for no immediate action on Oceano Dunes air pollution study

The Pismo Beach and Grover Beach city councils voted this week to ask the county Air Pollution Control District board not to take any action on a recent study on the particulate pollution caused by off-roaders at the Oceano Dunes state park.

Instead, the councils want the board to wait until California State Parks finishes an environmental impact report that should in part review operations at the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area.

The study, released last month, concluded that break-up by off-highway vehicles of a natural crust that forms on sand dunes and a lack of vegetative cover in areas where OHVs are ridden are the primary causes of high particulate air pollution being blown from the park to populated areas of the Nipomo Mesa.

The district board will be briefed on the study on March 24. Last week, the county Health Commission voted to urge the Board of Supervisors to take “any and all” steps within its power to re-vegetate and stabilize the state park. However, it’s not clear exactly what the supervisors have the power to do, the commissioners noted, because the off-riding area is under the control of state parks.

-- Cynthia Lambert