Letters to the Editor

Interesting parallels between Flint water and Nipomo Mesa

Nathan Sedlaczek, 13, rides a quad with his family at Oceano Dunes SRVA. New dust control measures are being put to the test at Oceano Dunes SVRA (State Vehicle Recreation Area).
Nathan Sedlaczek, 13, rides a quad with his family at Oceano Dunes SRVA. New dust control measures are being put to the test at Oceano Dunes SVRA (State Vehicle Recreation Area). dmiddlecamp@thetribunenews.com

The San Luis Obispo County Health Commission has issued a letter to the county supervisors recommending that the Board of Supervisors respond vigorously to the significant, ongoing health risks endured by residents of the Nipomo Mesa who reside in the dust plume from the Oceano Dunes. We the residents need help to protect us from the ongoing, unresolved, serious health consequences of exposure to airborne particulate matter blowing from the dunes.

Last week, I watched “Nova” on PBS, which presented “Poisoned Water,” a documentary telling how one woman identified the risks of untreated water used by the residents of Flint, Michigan. Samples were sent to the EPA. Their tests revealed high levels of lead and found that the city was not treating the water as required by law. Then a professor from Virginia Tech got involved and enticed students to gather more water samples, and tests indicated high levels of lead, three times the level of hazardous waste. Officials in Flint, at the state house and EPA tried to ignore the problem and attacked the scientists for spreading false information.

Finally, truth prevailed and corrective measures were implemented; 13 criminal indictments were issued. A comparison to our situation is evident.

Jim Killackey, Nipomo

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