For the past six years we made no progress in mitigating the cause of bad air quality on the Nipomo Mesa. It took our former Air Pollution Control Officer (APCO), Larry Allen, six years before he issued an abatement order. The abatement order gave multiple options, including closing 100, 200, or 400 acres of riding area.
Now, we have a new APCO, Gary Willey, who is ignoring Larry's recommendations and wants to settle for vegetating 18.4 acres. The Air Pollution Control District's staff estimates that vegetating 20 acres will result in a 7 to 11 percent reduction in pollution. Let's call it 9 percent. Why did Willey agree to only 9 percent? That leaves 91 percent of the pollution still in the air. That won't move the needle on the number of pollution violation days.
The abatement order is unclear, but assuming they mean to add 5 percent points of reduction each year, in year two we would be at only 14.5 percent pollution reduction. Also, the order has no performance metrics and no penalties for non-performance. Ridiculous!
Mr. Willey needs to read the clean air goals posted on his agency's website and start doing his job or resign.