By SEMA Washington, D.C., Staff
California State Parks issued a draft report that finds no new dust-reduction measures are needed at Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Recreation Area (SVRA). State Parks is required under a court order to reduce dust emissions at Oceano Dunes at a rate of 50% compared to 2013 levels. However, the scientific advisory group (SAG) that guides the dust mitigation work released a report in February that 50% is too high given that the current configuration of sensors tracking dust is flawed in favor of a higher number. The SAG recommended 40.7% instead. The collected data for the 2022 annual report measured a 40.8% dust emissions reduction and State Parks is recommending that the current mitigation plan has worked, and no additional measures are needed.
Oceano Dunes is California’s only OHV park on the Pacific Ocean.
State Parks will petition that the stipulated court order be revised to 40.8% at a hearing of the San Luis Obispo Air Pollution Control District Board tentatively scheduled for October 14. If denied, the 50% target would remain. State Parks has used wind fencing and vegetation plantings as dust mitigation methods in the past. Off-roading in prohibited in the areas of the park with dust-mitigation measures.
This finding is unrelated to the ongoing lawsuit challenging the California Coastal Commission’s (CCC) authority to ban off-roading at the Oceano Dunes SVRA by 2024. Oceano Dunes is a unique resource since it is the state’s only OHV park on the Pacific Ocean. The lawsuit is scheduled for trial in March 2023 in the California Superior Court for San Luis Obispo County.
The lawsuit was filed by SEMA and Ecologic Partners, a legal partnership between the Off-Road Business Association, the American Sand Association, and the American Motorcyclist Association District 37, along with Friends of Oceano Dunes.
For more information, contact Caroline Fletcher at firstname.lastname@example.org.