Oceano dust rule in court

January 25, 2013

oceanoA San Luis Obispo County Superior Court judge heard arguments for and against the controversial dust rule that requires state parks to reduce particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area or face fines of $1,000 per day.

Lawyers for the California Department of Parks and Recreation and the California Attorney General office argued that the Air Pollution Control District’s (APCD) study that the rule is based on found no correlation between riding activity and increased particulate matter blowing from the dunes and that there is no evidence of dune crust as claimed by the APCD.

Kevin Rice, a San Luis Obispo man who also filed a suit contesting the rule, said the district failed to follow California laws when it passed the dust rule. Both complainants are  requesting that the rule be overturned.

Counsel for the air district, Ray Biering, argued that the APCD study had shown higher dust levels downwind when vehicles are riding on the dunes. He also noted that the study was peer reviewed.

After listening to both sides, Judge Charles Crandall said he would rule on the matter ,but not till after he caught up on several other cases.


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Did that big old pile of sand known as the mesa get blown up there since the invention of the internal combustion engine?

Or, perhaps, the sands and dust have been blowing here for thousands of years.

Maybe we should sue Mother Nature over that persistent onshore wind…..

Blowing sand in the dunes is nothing new and yes this has an implacts on housing down wind but the dust has always been and will always be. There is a reason why housing is relatively new in the dusty areas and now developement wants to change nature?

People do create a little more of everything. Do we just stay home, go to work, pay taxes and watch the privileged class on the Discovery Channel? As a result of this discussion, dust should be included in the full disclosure statements for the housing in the dust belt, as determined by our APCD, regardless of the court’s judgement. This disclosure is an absolute must to protect the newbies that don’t know any better.

The APCD can then move onto the next dusty road, eliminate them all together or just assess a new fee to fund their next great discussion on the Discovery Channel.

QUOTING JORGE ESTRADA: “Blowing sand in the dunes is nothing new and yes this has an implacts on housing down wind but the dust has always been and will always be”

False argument. There is no reasonable debate over the large amounts of dust stirred up by the ATV/bike trash. There are gazillions of videos on the internet documenting it.

While there may always have been some dust blowing from a sand-dunes environment, there can be no debate over whether the activities of the ATV/bike trash greatly amplify it.

In addition, in a sand-dune environment, a microcrust forms over the sand which limits the amount of the fine silt that gets stirred up and becomes airborne. Until the ATV/trash that are destroying the Oceano Dunes environment, the regular destruction of the crust, over wide swatches of dunes, was very limited.

The kind of damage the ATV/bike trash do to the Oceano Dunes, producing wide swaths of tire-track destruction, is difficult for the environment’s natural microcrust formation.

So, not only do the ATV/bike trash destroy the environmental integrity of the Oceano Dunes, a unique environment, they also produce damage that is very difficult for the dunes environment to “fix” by microcrust formation, and ensure there will be additional silt blown inland even when they are not actively destroying the Oceano Dunes.



This video shows the amount of dust generated by the ATVs. The wind blows on-shore. Also note how spoiled the beauty of the dunes is by the ATV/bike trash’s activities.



This video starts with a good shot of the difference between the beauty of the untrashed Oceano Dunes (in the background) and what the dunes look like once the ATV/bike trash tear it up. It also shows dust being generated by the ATV/bike-trash’s activities.



Your response here is out of ignorance of the facts. You need to review the lawsuit brought against the SLO Air Pollution Control District by the Gov. Jerry Brown administration for faking the Oceano Dunes Air Quality Study. There are many claims in the lawsuit addressing your issues. One example is the Jerry Brown Administration claims there is no scientific evidence of a “crust” on the dunes that is broken up by off road vehicles as the SLO APCD claimed in its study.

You can make up your own facts, but it doesn’t make them true. You have miles of Dunes that are off limits to off road vehicles for your enjoyment how YOU prefer to use the dunes. Only a small portion of the Dunes is available for off road riding. It is selfish of you to want all the dunes only for your wanted uses. The Oceano Dunes Off Road Park is one of the most visited parks in all of California (maybe the most visited) so it is widely used by many Californians and others for THEIR chosen recreation.

As soon as the wind blows hard, which is every week, the sand shifts and the dunes look brand new again without a single tire track visible. So quit your propaganda campaign trying to make people believe things that are not true.

The only trash here is liberals like Mary who want to force their opinion on everyone to achieve the goal of shutting down the dunes to riding. I love it when the tables are turned and science stops their agenda. Sierra Club isnt the only one who can sue Mary.

Mary I watched you videos it looks like the sand just falls back down and dose not blow my lawn mower kicks up far more dust? I do know when you stand on the beach in Oceano on a windy day the sand stings your face try it in march and you will see?

Was looking for a way to sum up the N.I.M.B.Y.’s in this. I decide to go with the dictionary and the word WHINER.


complaint, moan, whinge, wail, whimper, cry

Or the Verb

grumble, gripe, complain, moan, bellyache, kvetch, wail, moan, howl, drone, hum, screech, squeal, scream

Yea I think that pretty much sums them up.

Shall I try to sum up the ATV/bike trash who destroy a natural wonder like the Oceano Dunes and, in the process, imperil the health of local residents?

I see the ATV/bike trash to have the same kind of attitude that John Wallace (The Wallace Group) has towards our county and our environment: rape it while you can and make the citizen victims deal with the destruction.



This video shows the amount of dust generated by the ATVs. The wind blows on-shore. Also note how spoiled the beauty of the dunes is by the ATV/bike trash’s activities.



This video starts with a good shot of the difference between the beauty of the untrashed Oceano Dunes (in the background) and what the dunes look like once the ATV/bike trash tear it up. It also shows dust being generated by the ATV/bike-trash’s activities.


Mary, I am offended. I am not ATV trash. I am not a rapist of the environment. I am an ATV rider and, yes, I have enjoyed my Polaris Scrambler on those very Dunes. There are far more OHVers like me than the “trash” you speak of and I think you owe us all an apology.


When is the next hearing? Would love to watch that action.

I wouldn’t. For me to sit through the BS of an APCD meeting, I have to have a dog in the race.

Even though I know the ATV/bike trash’s activity is producing a large increase in the natural (but usually minimal) silt that blow inland, I can’t support the APCD’s position because of the completely ridiculous and dishonest way they have handled this issue.

I think both the APCD and the ATV/bike trash are worthless piles of biosolids. I say dump them all in the piles of biosolids John Wallace illegally dumped at the SSLOCSD. Both the APCD and ATV/bike trash will then be in what is, for them, a natural environment.

Face it! You idiots live on a sand dune called the Mesa! The only reason you’re above sea level is because of blowing sand. Once you successfully shut down driving on the dunes and the sand continues to blow – Then who are you going to blame?

I don’t live on the Mesa. I live at just about sea level, a few miles in from the dunes.

I’ve noted a great increase in the amount of fine silt blown into my house since we moved here, many years ago.

I know it isn’t coming from the local farms because the silt is not farm silt, and the local farms do no dry till, nor do they till at all on windy days. They till in the plant material left behind after harvest, and it decomposes astonishingly quickly. Because they are pretty good stewards of the soil, there is a very short period of time (sometimes just a week) between crop harvest and crop planting.

The wind blows directly from the dunes into the neighborhood where I live.

So stop scapegoating the Mesa residents for rightfully complaining about the increased silt blown into their homes (and lungs) from the ATV/trash crowd’s destructive activities at the Oceano Dunes.

It is clear that a sound argument against the claims of those of us who are being victimized by the ATV/bike trash’s destruction of the Oceano Dunes cannot be made. Stooping to scapegoating simply makes it more obvious.

Unfortunately for you Mary, there has been a permanent CA state air quality testing station on the Mesa for many years and all the PM10 data, that is particulate matter 10 microns and smaller (dust), is publicly available. The next closest one is on South Broadway in Santa Maria. The levels of PM10 at the South Broadway CA State air quality testing station are consistently much higher than the levels of PM10 on the Mesa. I am confident they won’t be closing South Broadway down to vehicle traffic any time soon or shutting the farms to the west located between Santa Maria and the dunes (these dunes are off limits to off road vehicles and located well south of the off road park). Also, I have never heard of anyone in Santa Maria claiming the have excess fine silt blowing into their houses. It is funny you make this claim about excess silt blowing in your house even though the data shows much higher levels of dust in Santa Maria than on the Mesa or a few miles inland from the Mesa where you live. Your “excess silt” is probably pet cat dander or something like that.

I off-road elsewhere but off-roaders face the same dilemma everywhere; somebody doesn’t like it and makes it a cause celebre. It is probably someone who just moved into the neighborhood. Witness the home buyer who moves underneath a flightpath and then wants the airport shut down.

Nanny State. I bet if the State prevails next someone will try to deem off-roading as an inappropriate use of gas.

The reason I don’t like ATV/bike trash who destroy natural wonders like the Oceano Dunes is many fold, and part of that is for health reasons.

You cannot support a claim that the ATV/bike-trash crowd’s activities at the Oceano Dunes do not increase the amount of dune destruction and airborne silt. There are a vast amount of videos on the internet that will prove you wrong.

So, while you may enjoy your destructive activities, you do not have the right to force the destruction and aftermath on innocent local residents.

ATV/bike-trash. Great brush you paint with

Quite a brush indeed, Mary.

Mary – What actual evidence do you have of any adverse health effects for the people on the Mesa as a result of off road vehicles on the dunes. The reason I ask is because the head of the SLO County Health Department has admitted there are no studies or evidence of increased health problems due to blowing dust on the Mesa. You seem to be using all the “talking points” but do you have any actual measurable evidence to support your talking points? You really don’t expect them to close down one of the most visited state parks in California just on Mary’s word, do you?

Destructive activities must also include the very vehicle you use on the highways and freeways of this State. While you enjoy your ability to drive freely and cause pollution and forced destruction and aftermath on innocent local residents who have to breath in your pollution….

Off highway exploration and travel an inappropriate waste of gas?…never. NASCAR (aka WWF on wheels)…you bet its a waste of gas. ;)