At an air pollution control district meeting in Arroyo Grande yesterday, the new director of California state parks announced plans to close a small section of the Oceano Dunes by the end of the year.
The intent is to comply with orders to reduce air pollution. The APCD hearing was called because local regulators allege state parks violated an order of abatement. State parks director Lisa Mangat announced the closure as one of the first steps toward a stipulated abatement order to reduce dust emissions form the park by 50% by the year 2023.
Residents of a new housing complex on the Nipomo mesa have complained of particulates blowing off the dunes. They blame off-road vehicles, and campaigned to close the dunes. Mangat says, “The Scientific Advisory Group, which is a panel of geomorphologists, have recommended changes to the park that are necessary to improve the air quality of the local community.”
The closure will include a popular camping area. It would reduce the off-highway vehicle riding area by less than 5%.