Recently the Air Pollution Control District board listened as state experts quietly spelled out a number of concerns regarding the Phase 2 Study’s conclusions and methods. Flaws in the study included misapplied formulas and basic math errors, malfunctioning and inappropriate data stations, a 12-month report packed with 13 months of data collection and the use of non-comparable Owens Dry Lake soda-crust studies to quantify the effects of “dune crust”.
If the errors were corrected, OHV operation would instead appear to result in just one tenth of 1 percent of the reported PM10 pollution blowing off the dunes. The state experts also noted the Phase 2 Study did not provide data associating OHV operation with PM10 pollution.
The Park offered funding and manpower to help mitigate the County’s pollution problem, which prompted an exchange with Bruce Gibson during which OHVD head Phil Jenkins stated the Department is not offering to provide funds, mitigation programs, expertise and monitoring equipment in the belief that OHV operation is behind the high pollution levels.
Clearly it is time to end talk of closing the SVRA and banning OHV use when discussing Nipomo Mesa pollution. The parks department and SVRA should be praised for working with the APCD and funding projects that will reduce natural background pollution at no cost to the county.