APCD loses another round on dust rule

July 16, 2015


The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution District (APCD) lost another round Wednesday when the court sided with Friends of the Oceano Dunes and vacated a previous order that supported the dust rule.

Oceano Dunes 4

In Nov. 2011, the APCD Board passed the dust rule which requires state parks to reduce the amount of particulate matter blowing from the Oceano Dunes off-road vehicle area to natural levels or face fines of $1,000 per day. The regulation, which passed by one vote, is based on a contested study that concluded off-road activity on the dunes has caused an increase in pollution on the Nipomo Mesa.

In 2012, Friends of the Oceano Dunes filed a lawsuit citing numerous reasons the group believed the dust rule should be thrown out by a judge.

San Luis Obispo County Superior Court Judge Charles Crandall then ruled against against friends saying that the Oceano state park could be considered a man-made device and as such regulated by the air district’s dust rule.

In April 2015, the appellate court overturned Crandall’s ruling saying “the trial court erroneously ruled that an air pollution control district has the power to regulate air admissions emanating from a state park by a permit requirement.”

At a case management conference on Wednesday, Crandall expressed surprise at the appellate court’s ruling.

“That’s the way the cookie crumbles,” Crandall said.

Ray Biering, an attorney representing the APCD, asked Crandall to modify his previous ruling which noted support for the science behind the dust rule.

Crandall, however, vacated his ruling and set a hearing for Sept. 9.

Friends of the Oceano Dunes President Jim Suty said his group would like to work with the air district to protect endangered species and public health. In addition, if one area of the dunes is closed to off-road vehicles, friends would like to see another section of equal size opened.

“Its been death by a thousand fence posts with the APCD restricting, taking and penalizing,” Suty said. “We are seeking a cooperative working environment, to work for a common goal.”

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The ACPD needs to go away.. the whole thing is a liberal enterprise to create jobs for a few, out of thin air. Want to burn on your property? Go ahead as long as its during a prescribed burn day and you have sent your $ to Larry Allen for a permit. They even accept $ and issues permits for areas that are not supposed to be burning at all.

As for the Dunes, these people from LA and the Bay Area moved here and bought homes in a place none of the natives ever wanted to live in because of the blowing sand and worthless soil.

These are the same type of bozos who build next to an airport and then complain about the flight paths.

“The ACPD needs to go away.. the whole thing is a liberal enterprise to create jobs for a few, out of thin air. Want to burn on your property? Go ahead as long as its during a prescribed burn day and you have sent your $ to Larry Allen for a permit”.

Jana, I’m afraid my half century of adulthood teaches me that no California bureaucracy EVER goes away. Especially those with board members like Gibson and, uh, “types” like overpaid Allen. Wish voters were organized enough to make this APCD, and their “pound sand dune rule” go away.

“Burn on your property”. Why, yes, I’ve been readying ag brush piles for Sunday in case it’s safe and wet enough from lucky monsoon rainfall, if any. Also maybe readying the environmentally-correct steel-shot Remington 12 gauge in case the APCD drone happens by. …however….

help me out here. (sarcasm font on) WHAT is a “permit” ?

There is no greater poster child for government bureaucracy, fraud, and waste than Larry Allen and the APCD.

I’ve got a great idea! Let’s pave the whole thing from the houses down to the lowest tide line! No dust, and the cars can go really fast! Everybody wins!

Genius. Then nothing will slow down the 500 million pounds of sand that blow onshore NATURALLY each year.

I love the beauty of the Pismo Dunes…right by the sea, so gorgeous – but I honestly have to say that all the off road vehicle traffic out there ruins it for me. It’s noisy and people are crazy the way they drive. The weekends become drunk fests with all the tourists partying down. I won’t go there any more – it’s sad for me to see that area treated poorly. I’m afraid I am in the camp of banning the off roading altogether.

While I find this position rational (you prefer different for your own desires), I think it a selfish view as there are miles of dunes outside the riding area you can visit, but only a couple miles for vehicle use or of the entire state of California. Houses on Strand Ave destroyed the dunes in Oceano but there is no call to remove houses. Invasive weeds destroyed many more miles of foredunes but even more weeds are desired by APCD to harm NATURAL sand movement.

The partying is vastly overstated by those who never visit and who only see maximum crowd holiday imagery.

Being among the top ten most visited state parks, it’s a vast plus for our county.

So, again, I find it just plain selfish to close one of the most popular state parks out of personal preference.

It just seems really sad to treat such a beautiful area as a highway for off-road vehicles.I agree that the park is a huge plus to the county and I am sure South County cities all benefit from the many tourists that go there to camp and party. I still think they would visit even if their dune buggies were not welcome.

I am not an advocate of closing that park, just banning off road vehicles and the noise pollution they create. I also happen to think that the vehicles keep many bird species from coming around, not to mention the over-all damage to the environment.

Taking your logic then the same could be said for almost the whole route of Highway 1 along the coast, “really sad to treat such a beautiful area as a highway”, so lets closed down Highway 1 and return the land to as it was, right??

I don’t know what’s to be sad about. Dunes are the ideal place for off highway recreation. You can’t damage a dune longer than the next windy afternoon that erases all traces. Still, there’s a place for everyone, or should be, and it’s 0.03% of the coast and only 9% of the dunes are open.

The only reason anyone is offended is because it’s not already paved over. San Francisco used to be dunes and no one is complaining about that.

I would LOVE to see SF returned to it’s former self.

Wouldn’t we all, my friend. They should just erase it from the map.

Well, your honesty is refreshing though I don’t agree with your position. Loathsome are those who hide their agenda behind absurd “science.” Regulating a sand dune? Really? In the words of Springsteen, some day we’ll look back on this and it will all seem funny.

“We are seeking a cooperative working environment, to work for a common goal.”

With all due respect Mr. Suty, Let me know how that works out for you.

The wind will still blow the sand around. I think we should evict the complainers from their 3000 square foot homes that they CHOPPED TREES DOWN TO BUILD and put the trees back.

Even if the sand doesn’t blow, did it occur to the old folks that perhaps the REFINERY might be causing their discomfort or air quality problems. You know, the refinery that has been there for years?

Oh, let’s not forget hwy 1 that runs through the Mesa. Maybe people should be banned from driving.

Don’t forget all the sand roads that crisscross the west mesa.

And the construction sites that are not being monitored and environmental impact report mitigations that are being ignored by the County and the APCD and the two miles of sand, ag land, railroad tracks, and oil refinery the wind blows across between State Parks and the golf course developments

I will relate the only time the APCD did a useful thing: During the Los Osos Sewer wars the Regional Water Quality Control Board (Water Gods) Decreed that the entire prohibition zone would be required to pump their septic tanks every month. The APCD (Air Gods) overruled the idiots because the pollution of thousands of diesel truck trips running up Los Osos valley road was unacceptable to the air quality.

You would all be better off without elemental Gods In my opinion.

Actually, the Regional Water Quality Control Board decreed that the 45 homes that got Cease and Desist orders would be required to pump bi-monthly. And that was later changed to pumping and inspection every three years for many reasons, the APCD ruling among them.

Nel, Larry Allen, et al, pound sand! ~pun intended~