Letters to the Editor

Don’t duck and cover on the dunes dust issue

Members of the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors, the California Coastal Commission, the city councils of the South County, the SLO City Council and the Air Pollution Control District: The issue of sub 2.5 micron sand particles is a real and present danger to all citizens of the Nipomo Mesa.

Data collected through multiple agencies and analyzed by scientists (not politicians) is definitive in its findings that the sub 2.5 micron dust issue is a verifiable health issue, that these particulates behave in a similar manner to asbestos and cause permanent and irreparable lung damage to those exposed on a continuous basis.

These small particles are not naturally occurring; they are created through the breakdown of normal sand grains by the pounding generated by off-road vehicles. We need a negotiated solution to this problem; banning all off-road vehicles on the dunes or doing nothing are not workable solutions. Being smart on what areas of the dunes are open to off-road recreation and planting native grasses in the tracts generating the greatest amount of harmful dust can work. Don’t duck and cover, stand up for the health of your citizens (regardless of geographic domain) and work to resolve this important health issue.

Jack Moyer, Nipomo