Air board seeks help from Sacramento on implementing dust rule
November 15, 2012
The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District Board decided Wednesday to go around State Parks and seek help from the Governor’s Cabinet in implementing its Oceano dunes dust rule. [SLO Tribune]
District officials have accused State Parks of not cooperating in the implementation of the dust rule, which requires the agency to reduce particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area or face fines of $1,000 a day. The air district board of directors chose Wednesday to contact Gov. Jerry Brown’s Resource Secretary John Laird about State Parks’ resistance to the dust rule. Likewise, the air district will inform Brown’s newly appointed director of State Parks, retired Marine Corps Maj. Gen. Anthony Jackson, about what it considers stubbornness on the part of his agency.
Air district administrator Larry Allen wrote a letter wrote a letter last month to the Off-Highway Vehicle Division of State Parks detailing the division’s “utter lack of commitment” in implementing the dust rule.
State Parks responded with a letter of its own saying that the agency “is working cooperatively with the district” despite questions about the science of the particulate matter studies.
County Supervisor and air district board member Adam Hill compared State Parks to climate change deniers for questioning the science of the studies.
“They’ve denied the science from the beginning, the way the fossil fuel industry has denied climate change,” Hill said.
Allen also received support from other board members.
“State Parks isn’t really interested in mitigating the problem,” County Supervisor Jim Patterson said. “They have not kept their side of the bargain.”
San Luis Obispo Mayor Jan Marx added that State Parks has taken “a scofflaw attitude” toward the alleged health problems caused by dust blowing from the dunes.
State Parks did not send a representative to Wednesday’s board meeting.