Both the Air Pollution Control District and the OHV Division of State Parks have performed numerous scientific studies to determine the nature, cause and extent of the high particulate matter (PM) concentrations impacting air quality and public health on the Nipomo Mesa. Information about and links to each of those studies is provided below. A summary of the results of each of the major studies described below can be found here.
South County Phase 1 Particulate Matter Study
An extensive air monitoring study was performed by the APCD from April 2004 through March 2005 to better delineate the nature and extent of the high particulate matter concentrations observed on the Mesa. Comprehensive sampling of both fine (PM2.5) and coarse (PM10) particulate matter was conducted at numerous locations across the Mesa. The results of this study are detailed in the Nipomo Mesa Particulate Study 2007 , now known as the Phase 1 Study.
South County Phase 2 Particulate Matter Study
The Phase 2 Study was conducted from January 2008 to March 2009 to expand on the data collected during the Phase 1 study, and to specifically determine whether off road vehicle activity is a significant contributing factor to the Oceano Dunes State Vehicular Riding Area (ODSVRA) dust emissions impacting the Nipomo Mesa. The results of that study are detailed in the South County Phase 2 Particulate Matter Study report published in February 2010. Technical appendices and other documents relative to the Phase 2 study, including the raw data collected during the study, are available here.
South County Community Monitoring Project
The goal of this project was to map the spatial extent and concentration gradient of the ODSVRA dust plume during high wind conditions to better understand its impacts on Nipomo Mesa and Oceano neighborhoods. The data collected was used to develop more detailed air quality forecasts for those areas and enhance the ability of local residents to individually determine if protective actions might be needed on high PM days. The results of this study are detailed in the South County Community Monitoring Project final report, published in January 2013. Technical appendices and other documents relative to the Community Monitoring Project, including the raw data collected during the study, are available here.
State Parks Dunes Dust Studies
The OHMVR Division of the California Department of Parks and Recreation has conducted several studies at the ODSVRA to further evaluate dust impacts, mitigation and air monitoring issues relative to meeting the requirements of APCD Rule 1001. Information about and links to each of those studies is provided below.
2013 Dunes Monitoring Study
OHMVR conducted a comprehensive monitoring study in the spring and summer of 2013 to evaluate potential differences in the emissions and air quality impacts between the riding and non-riding areas of the ODSVRA, and to determine appropriate locations to site air monitoring stations and dust mitigation measures . The results of those studies are detailed in the two documents listed below. The raw data for each of these documents can be obtained by contacting OHMVR.
In 2011, APCD and State Parks jointly funded a study by the Desert Research Institute (DRI) to design and test various dust reduction control strategies at the ODVSRA. Three strategies were evaluated for their effectiveness in reducing dust emissions: enhanced surface roughness, planting vegetation and changing vehicle activity patterns. The results of this study were detailed in the September 2011 publication of the Oceano Dunes Pilot Projects report.
2007 Dunes Vegetation Study
Revegetation is an important dust reduction strategy at the ODSVRA. In 2007, State Parks published a comprehensive study of vegetation coverage within the ODSVRA, including the influence of offroad vehicle activity on dune vegetation. This study, conducted by the California Geological Survey (CGS), provides detailed descriptions of historical and recent revegetation efforts, and recommendations for ensuring future revegetation efforts are successful. The results of this study can be found in an August 2007 CGS report.