Grover Beach Council spurns mayor’s campaign against APCD dust rule

July 16, 2013
Debbie Peterson

Debbie Peterson

Grover Beach Mayor Debbie Peterson, who is campaigning to repeal the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District dust rule, petitioned her fellow council members Monday to join her in opposition to the regulation. Peterson did not win over any of her colleagues.

The dust rule requires the California Department of Parks to reduce the amount of particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes to the Nipomo Mesa or pay fines of $1,000 a day to the APCD. The APCD claims that off-road vehicle activity on the dunes has caused an increase in pollution on the Nipomo Mesa.

In advance of an APCD board meeting next week, Peterson asked the other four members of the Grover Beach council to express opposition to the APCD levying fines upon the state agency. Likewise Peterson, requested that her colleagues join her in opposing a section of the dust rule that will require state parks to obtain and hold a permit from the APCD in order to operate the off-road riding area.

Peterson said the dust rule threatened the existence of the off-road riding area due to the potential for a revocation of the permit.

“If you don’t want to give somebody the authority to yank a permit, don’t require the permit in the first place,” Peterson said. “We are giving one person the power that could have huge implications for the state.”

Each of the other four council members, however, said they do not see the dust rule as a threat to off-road vehicle activity on the dunes.

County Supervisor Adam Hill, who sits alongside Peterson on the APCD board, spoke during public comment and also said the rule does not threaten off-road vehicle access.

“There is not a threat,” Hill said. “This is a false debate. We don’t need to have it.”

Hill chastised Peterson during the last APCD board meeting for regularly asking questions of staff. On Monday, he prefaced his remarks by telling the council that Grover Beach has “never had a better friend at the county than I have been.”

About 25 speakers in total spoke during public comment, the majority of whom supported Peterson and opposed the dust rule.

Former Grover Beach Mayor David Ekbom said money is the driving force of the APCD’s dust rule.

“They need to find a new source of revenue,” Ekbom said. “They found this pocket of gold out in the dunes.”

The APCD board will meet July 24, and it will most likely vote on whether to levy $49,000 of air monitoring permit fees on state parks.

Peterson is currently circulating a petition to repeal the dust rule entirely. As of Tuesday, the petition has 278 signatures.

The dust rule is also facing a legal challenge from California Attorney General Kamala Harris. On behalf of state parks, Harris sued the APCD, alleging the district used faulty science in passing the rule and did not prove that off-road vehicle activity has caused an increase in pollution on the Nipomo Mesa.


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My nom de plume is to keep the idiots from being idiots. Really? tghis has evolved to name calling about names? Weird.

The elephant in the room is that the “public” demanding implementation of the dust rule and constantly complaining are the folks who live on the Mesa. Let’s see, these folks purchased homes on top of a sand dune. Even the slightest due diligence on their part would have revealed to them that the wind blows off the dunes pretty much every day. Casual observation shows that when the wind blows, the sand gets caught up in the wind and is carried by the wind onto the Mesa, or any area near the beach.

Either these folks didn’t do any reasonable investigation into the conditions of their potential neighborhood, OR they chose to ignore the conditions. Now those people don’t say to themselves, “oh, oops, what a mistake. What shall I do to mitigate the results of my choice?” Have these folks taken any personal responsibility? Have they invested their own money to “weatherize” their homes? Have they planted wind breaks? The real estate market is warming up. Have they considered selling their home and moving to a less dusty neighborhood?

NO these people are taking no personal responsibility, but rather demand that the rest of us give way to improve their life. Health is important to all of us. If I had breathing problems due to dust blown in by the wind. Rather than don a mask and cough and damn the wind and demand others make it better. I would spend my efforts on either weather proofing my home, or failing that, I’d move to a safer place more fitting to my health needs.

Those who enjoy riding vehicles on the beach should not have to pay the price for others unwilling to take responsible action on their own behalf. Bureaucracies like APCD set into place rules that will logically result in heavy fines. Where will the fine monies go? Into the coffers of APCD, not to make true efforts to improve health of residents on the mesa.

…he prefaced his remarks by telling the council that Grover Beach has “never had a better friend at the county than I have been.”

I feel so much better now knowing that Adam is a friend of my City – NOT!

What do you base your conclusion upon? Could you be specific, because otherwise your attack appears groundless and mean-spiritied.

Hill has certainly supported many, if not most, of the projects the city has embarked upon that are relevant to his sphere of influence. He has also time after time voted in support of providing Grover Beach funds from the discretionary funds that the Board of Supervisors dispenses to local municipalities.

Debbie Petersen was exercising her right to speak, her right to have an opinion, and was following her conscience (rare in a Politian) on an important subject. She misjudged the support of her fellow council members. Ms. P. stated a desire to concentrate the dust mitigation efforts on finding health solutions rather than throwing money at the APCD. Her petition has merit.

She showed poise and grace under pressure during a meeting where fellow council members censured her and some members of the public were rude and called her names. Amusing, even though the pro-dust rule folks “won”, they were very nasty even in view of their win.

Ms. P drew attention to long-term consequences and asked her council to join her in some strategic advance planning to stem potential consequences of the Dust Rule. Most of the local Grover Beach residents / business owners who spoke firmly supported Ms. P. Four council members seemed to have their heads in the sand; their fingers in their ears and they were chanting “lalalalalala” drowning out the voices of their constituents.

If not seen today or tomorrow, negative consequences of the dust rule and the heavy fines will be seen in the future. Ms. P may then say “told you so”, but it will be too late.

Hopefully enough members of APCD will see the folly of the exorbitant fines and the far reaching and detrimental consequences.

Good to see the rest of the Grover Beach City Council has a good head on their shoulders and is not falling for Peterson’s scare tactics and campaign of misinformation!! This restores my faith in Grover Beach!

The APCD has repeatedly gone on record over the last several years, vowing that park closure is the farthest thing from reality. It’s not even on the table and IS a false debate used as a scare tactic by Kevin Rice and Debbie Peterson to get people riled up; people who can’t be bothered to watch the board meetings, read the actual study results & not rely on Rice’s misinterpretation/misinformation, and read the actual dust rule text too. The so-called fines are a last resort and are actually specified in the California State Health & Safety Code for any serious public health violation, not the APCD’s rule. This is another bit of misinformation. The APCD has already said their primary mission is to seek compliance to reduce the pollution for the benefit of the residents on the Mesa.

It’s curious that the article doesn’t note that the Superior Court has already ruled unequivocally against the lawsuits from California Attorney General Kamala Harris, State Parks, and Kevin Rice. The new “legal challenge” is their appeal to the original ruling, which will fail too.

Please read the original ruling for yourself:,%20CV12-0013.pdf

Do you happen to have a link to the Complaint that was filed in this case?

I can provide a copy upon personal request. (805) 602-2616.

Others who have responded to Kevin Rice’s requests to get in contact personally, thereby revealing personal information, have lived to regret it.

“TheInsider” says: “park closure is the farthest thing from reality. It’s not even on the table and IS a false debaute used as a scare tactic by Kevin Rice…”

Email from Adam Hill (APCD Board Member) to Larry Allen on Nov 16, 2012 9:50 a.m.:

“…We believed we could mitigate the dust and keep the recreation area open. But now we will likely be advised by our counsel that State Parks’ actions have left us entirely vulnerable to a slew of legitimate lawsuits from our citizens. This will inevitably necessitate SLO County having to fence off and patrol the Le Grande tract, thereby significantly reducing the recreation area.”

Farthest thing from reality… right. PUT IT IN WRITING.

Thumbs down? Oops! Sorry for providing documented facts (which the Court ruled in our favor to put into the official record–a copy is available in State Parks’ 2nd Mtn. to Correct and Augment the Record, Exhibit 5). Messes up the whole ‘misinterpretation/misinformation’ thing doesn’t it “TheInsider”?

Here is ANOTHER in a long line of misleading statements from Kevin Rice. The Le Grande tract has long been in dispute as to whether it should be open to OHVs. Prohibiting OHV’s from that portion of the dunes in NO WAY suggests that there will follow an entire “park closure.”

Hill’s comments, in fact, suggest he is working to keep portions of the dunes available for OHV use.

Using a pen-name is standard operating procedure on forums like this, Kevin. Unlike some others who post here, I am not doing it for fame, cheap publicity or personal glorification.

Many people choose to use pen names in order to protect themselves and their loved ones from violent or otherwise abusive and/or illegal reprisals from those whose opinions they don’t agree with. There is nothing cowardly about that. It’s called prudence and concern for loved ones.

One does not fairly judge a person’s “manhood” by whether or not they use a pen name on a blog. Pen names are an American literary tradition. Ever heard of MARK TWAIN?

What do you plan to do if you “face” me that you can’t do right here? Seriously. What is your intention? You already are trying to compromise my privacy by failing to respect the pen name I use on this forum. I can only assume that is for self-serving and malicious purposes. In fact, I thought doing that violates the guidelines for this forum.

Kevin Rice is a public figure. WiserGuy is most certainly NOT a public figure. I wish to retain as much privacy and protection from libel and slander as the law will allow. I see no dishonor in that.

Everything I write in this forum stems from my opinion, including my opinion as to what the facts are. In that regard I choose to stand beside Mark Twain and others who used their opinions to shed light so that others may better discern truth for themselves.

You are a spin artist and a liar. Closure is closure.

Hill can’t even spell La Grande.

Kevin, please have the courtesy to point out specifically for myself and other readers, what it is that you claim i have lied about. Thank you!

More on park closure “false debate”:

Air Pollution Control Officer Larry Allen on internal document:

“My suggestion is to require State Parks to establish a no-ride zone at the south end of the SVRA, allow sufficient time (2 years?) for it to establish decent crust, then use it as a control site for downwind monitoring to be compared w/monitoring downwind of riding area.”

Being the nice but practical businessman Dave Ekbom is, it’s only natural that he would speak in support of the efforts of Peterson and other pro-dust lobbyists. Ekbom owns a laundromat in Grover Beach and it stands to reason that the more dust the OHVs kick up, dirtying clothes, bedding and window coverings,the more he stands to potentially profit from the inevitable washing and clean up.

But I agree with him that the dust rule plan is a means to spread the wealth generated by OHV fees (and placate those who feel OHVs do not have a place in the dunes and protect the interests of real estate owners in the area.)

This story contradicts and puts in their place the folks who posted on this site assuring (and misleading) readers that Peterson’s petition was supported by the Grover Beach council. Their misleading statements were more in a long history of over-reaching and/or misleading statements made by the pro-dust and dust-denial propagandists.

The only propagandists are the SLO APCD staff that FAKED the Oceano Dunes Dust Study and the APCD members, such as Adam Hill, who has always known the study was faked, knows today the study was faked, but doesn’t care because he just wants the Oceano Dunes closed to off road riding. WiserGuy, it amazes me how people like yourself, will ignore the fact the study was faked. The APCD staff got caught red handed, yet there have been no consequences to any of the staff that knew they were defrauding the public. WiserGuy, why aren’t you calling for a new “legitimate” study to be done?

I really don’t know if the study was “faked.” If it even has a remote chance of being true, that is something for the courts to decide. I certainly don’t have enough facts at hand to validate or refute that serious allegation. But if it is true, I wonder why the OHV lobbyists have not been able to use that to their advantage, other than floating it in their unverified propaganda.

The study is flawed, not faked, and was peer reviewed by a bunch of Larry Allen’s buddies, some who had a direct stake in the study outcome and a couple who are not even remotely experts in the field.

You are wrong on the issue that it is NOT something for the courts. Courts do not decide policy. It’s for the legislators (the politicians on the APCD board) to decide what is proper science. And, in this case, we have a bunch of board members who are not diligent, not caring to fully educate themselves, and certainly don’t care about scientific quality (which most don’t even begin to understand in the first place). It’s all a big pain in the ass to them and they want the meetings over in time for lunch…. “Too complicated, it’s over my head, it must be correct because I don’t understand this stuff… I’m voting yes because Larry Allen seems really smart and so it must be fine. Adjourn anyone?”

Further, the only thing I cannot verify is the documents you don’t care to look at or consider. I can verify EVERYTHING I say or write which is posed as fact.

Whatisup, even OHV lobbysist Kevin Rice denies that the study was “faked.” (See his comments below.) I believe you owe myself, Adam Hill and APCD members and others a HUGE apology and a public retraction of your libelous statements.

I beleive that Debbie Peterson is viewing this issue with open eyes and should have the complete support of her fellow council members. If the APCD gets one penny for sand dune pollution, the next penny will come from cattle industry for the discharging methane gas.

It’s not the methane gas that the cattle industry should be paying/fined for. It’s all the pesticides and other toxins that it unleashes into our environment and the dangerous hormones it spreads through our food supply. That along with the industry-wide horrific violations of human treatment to animals.

So do we create a TFB, Toxic Food Bureau, tax everything in the food chain, fix nothing and create more cush Gov jobs? This might work because some foreign University students, who can pay the big fat tuition, will stay here don’t eat cows anyway.

I dont’ think your scheme is a good one, Jorge. There is no need to “tax everything in the food chain.”

Also, the VAST majority of Cal Poly students do routinely consume cow flesh despite all the wise reasons not to.

This double speaking has me scratching my hair. WHAT is being said. this is repealing that which means that that can’t be undone can in fact corroborate the finite injustices of said predicament ensuing in a blind but legal arbitrary pairing of the enormous responsibilities of conjecture ascertain risks which in fact and I submit to you errors of the alleged documentation superseding the initial transgressions of the party A and party b instead of reasonable measure negating the initial causes, furthermore putting at risk the very principles one could refer to when surmising the outcome in that the perception of peer groups, and colloquial discretion based on the fact that all of this means diddly squat just like the dust ruling language. PLEASE someone summarize.

Nutshell…. Private interests are trying to get the land to build a golf resort. They will pay anyone to make that happen. Fake tests, legal battles, paid officials… it’s the new age CALI-MOB. They won’t give up, and so we wait for them to create something so bad, that we give them the land…. for our safety. Yes, they are much smarter than you… they don’t play by the rules.

what land are you talking about? The dunes, the land around the dunes or the land on the mesa? I am curious and have been trying to figure out just what is behind a lot of things that are coming up in the area around the Grover Beach Lodge proposal.

“Private interests are trying to get the land to build a golf resort.” First time I’ve heard this… can you provide any evidence to back it up?

Evidence? You are really a stickler, aren’t you?