Oceano Dunes air pollution study released
February 22, 2010
The long-awaited study by the Air Pollution Control District (APCD) on the Oceano Dunes has finally been issued and the first public workshop is scheduled for next week.
The report, released Monday, suggests that the high levels of dust being blown across the Nipomo Mesa stems from a lack of vegetation cover and the disturbance of the sand dunes by the off-highway vehicles.
The year-long APCD study reached the following conclusions:
Particulate matter on the Mesa does not originate from an offshore source.
Neither agriculture fields nor the Conoco-Phillips refinery is a significant source of pollutants.
The bulk of the particulate matter is fine sand blown onto the Mesa by strong winds.
The primary source of these sand particles is the open sand areas of the dunes.
Vegetative areas do not emit wind-blown particles.
Open sand dunes where off-highway vehicles are ridden emit significantly greater amounts of particulates than the undisturbed sand areas.
The APCD will host a public workshop about the new study on March 3, from 6 to 9 p.m. at the South County Regional Center, 800 W. Branch St, in Arroyo Grande.