Air pollution control measures don't appear to be working at Oceano Dunes

Nov 13, 2014

The Oceano Dunes, Calif.
Credit Randol White - KCBX News

Projects to reduce the amount of air pollution caused by particulates coming from the Oceano Dunes don't appear to be working. Testing shows the number of days with poor air quality on the Nipomo Mesa held steady, despite the addition of sand fencing and hay bales.

California State Parks spent more than a million dollars on the projects this past spring.

Larry Allen is the Air Pollution Control officer for San Luis Obispo County. He believes the problem can be fixed without putting an end to vehicle access on the dunes, but says some action needs to be taken.

"This is a very significant public health issue and people living on the Nipomo Mesa exposed to these very high concentrations are definitely at risk," said Allen. "We need to get the most effective mitigation in place as soon as possible."

Allen says one solution would included increased vegetation and additional fencing.

The air pollution problem at the dunes has been filled with lawsuits coming from a variety of sources.