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Press Releases

2020 Press Releases

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11-6-20: Better Breather Alert due to Blowing Dust Impacting Nipomo, Paso Robles & Atascadero Areas 

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CALIFORNIA – The San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) is advising the public of deteriorating air quality in the Oceano Dunes/Nipomo Mesa, Paso Robles and Atascadero areas due to blowing dust on Friday, November 6, 2020.  Blowing dust is forecasted to occur from noon to 7 p.m., with the dust forecasted to peak from 1 p.m. to 6 p.m. Very sensitive individuals such as infants, as well as children and adults with existing respiratory or heart conditions, may experience adverse health effects during blowing dust periods.

SLO County APCD recommends that the public reschedule outdoor activities to occur when there is no visible dust.  If blowing dust is visible in the air, SLO County APCD recommends all adults and children avoid strenuous outdoor activity, remain indoors as much as possible, and set any heating/air conditioning/ventilation systems to recirculation.  The public is advised to consult their doctor if they are experiencing health problems in an area with blowing dust and sand.

SLO County APCD will continue to closely monitor air pollution levels throughout our region, as forecasts can change. Visit the APCD website slocleanair.org/air-quality/air-forecasting-map.php to see current air quality conditions and forecasts for SLO County.  Sign up to receive the daily air quality forecast via email by visiting slocleanair.org/air-quality/forecasting.php

10-2-20: Notice of Hearing and Public Workshop - SLO County APCD Hearing Board. 

The San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District (APCD) Hearing Board is providing notice to the public that it will conduct a virtual public hearing and workshop on Friday, October 23, 2020, at 9:00 a.m.

The Hearing Board will receive an informational update on activities in Stipulated Order of Abatement 17-01 issued to California Department of Parks and Recreation Off-Highway Motor Vehicle Division. 

A public workshop addressing the California Department of Parks and Recreation’s Provisionally Approved Annual Report and Work Plan (ARWP) will also be held remotely at this time. The workshop will include a presentation of the draft ARWP by State Parks, and a presentation on the adequacy of the ARWP and effectiveness of mitigation by the Scientific Advisory Group. In addition, APCD will also provide a summary of the process. 

The hearing and workshop will provide an opportunity for the public to make general comments and on any item considered. The public is invited to provide written public comments in advance of the workshop. Comments must be received on or before Wednesday, October 21, 2020 at 1:00 p.m.to boardclerk@slocleanair.org.

October 23, 2020
9:00 a.m.
Zoom Webinar Teleconference: https://us02web.zoom.us/j/81331654308
YouTube Livestream Broadcast: https://youtu.be/YKBCOp8c8Tk

Public participation details will be included in the agenda, available no later than October 16, 2020 on the District website at https://www.slocleanair.org/. To view all related documents, or to find out more about the efforts to mitigate dust emissions from the Oceano Dunes, visit SLOCleanAir.org/air-quality/oceano-dunes-efforts.


10-1-20: Air Quality Alert Has Been Issued Through the Weekend - Smoke Impacting SLO County and Conditions are Rapidly Changing

The San Luis Obispo (SLO) County Air Pollution Control District and Public Health Department are working in partnership to assess the air quality in order to identify any potential health impacts and to inform the community about safeguarding individual health. At this time, several wildfires outside of San Luis Obispo County are continuing to impact air quality throughout San Luis Obispo County.

Expect skies to be hazy and fine particulate (PM2.5) concentrations to be higher than normal. Changing winds make it difficult to predict which areas of the county may be most affected and conditions are rapidly changing. However, until the fires are put out, smoke will likely be intermittently present in our region.

A helpful resource we are recommending to the public, in addition to our SLOCleanAir.org website and our AirAware text notifications is the EPA’s Fire and Smoke Map that shows monitoring locations and the smoke plume. This map can be found at Fire.AirNow.Gov.

If you smell smoke or see ash fall:

Air District officials recommend that if you smell smoke or see ash, take precautions, and use common sense to reduce your exposure to smoke. All adults and children should:

  • Head indoors and remain indoors, if possible
  • Avoid strenuous outdoor activity
  • Close all windows and doors that lead outside to prevent bringing additional smoke inside

These precautions are especially important for sensitive groups, including children, older adults, and people with existing respiratory illness and heart conditions, as they are particularly vulnerable to the health effects of poor air quality. Families with small children should be aware that even if adults in the household have no symptoms, children may experience symptoms due to their smaller body mass and developing lungs. If smoke increases, healthy people could be affected as well. If you experience a cough, shortness of breath, wheezing, exhaustion, light-headedness or chest pain, stop any outdoor activity immediately and seek medical attention.  More information can be found at slocleanair.org/air-quality/wildfire.

Face Coverings During Wildfires:

Cloth masks will not adequately protect you from inhaling wildfire smoke. During the COVID-19 pandemic, cloth masks are encouraged to protect others from the liquid droplets that are expelled when we speak, cough or sneeze from going into the air. Residual spray when you speak produces larger droplets than the PM2.5 particles produced during wildfire events.

Due to COVID-19, N95 masks are in short supply and should be reserved for frontline workers as much as possible. That is why, to the extent possible, people should stay indoors when wildfire smoke is present as opposed to wearing an N95 mask or a cloth face coverings.

For updates:

APCD and County officials will continue to closely monitor smoke impacts and air quality in San Luis Obispo County. By following the air quality index (AQI), the public can also monitor real-time air quality throughout SLO County. The AQI focuses on health effects individuals may experience within a few hours or days after breathing polluted air. The current and forecasted AQI is available via the APCD website: slocleanair.org and you can also follow the SLO County APCD and Public Health Department Twitter feeds for the latest updates (@slocleanair and @SLOPublicHealth). You can also sign up for AirAware alerts right on your phone by visiting our website at SLOCleanAir.org. You can also see monitoring locations and the smoke plume at Fire.AirNow.Gov.       

Other 2020 Press Releases

9-11-20: Air Quality Alert - Smoke is Impacting SLO County. Smoke is Expected To Continue To Impact SLO County This Weekend

9-8-20: Smoke and Ash Impacting SLO County

9-3-20: Air Quality Alert - Smoke is Causing Increased Ozone Levels in Eastern SLO County and Increased Particulate Levels Across SLO County Into The Weekend

8-21-20: Air Quality Alert - Due to Smoke, APCD Recommends All Non-Emergency Outdoor Work in North County Be Postponed Until Air Quality Conditions Improve

8-18-20: Air Quality Alert - Smoke Impacting SLO County, Predominantly Northern SLO County

8-7-20: Notice of Vacancies Hearing Board of the San Luis Obispo County Air Pollution Control District

7-1-20: SLO County APCD Releases Frequently Asked Questions Related to Air Quality & Temporary Closure at Oceano Dunes

6-16-20: CAL FIRE Press Release on Burn Suspension

6-15-20: Health Advisory - Smoke Impacting SLO County

5-26-20: Camp Roberts Impact Range Fire Hazard Training Window June 2 through June 4

5-15-20: Better Breather Alert due to Blowing Dust Impacting the Nipomo Area

5-15-20: Notice of Vacancies - Hearing Board of the San Luis Obispo APCD

5-5-20: Better Breather Alert Issued due to Blowing Dust Impacting the Nipomo Area

4-21-20: Better Breather Alert Issued due to Blowing Dust Forcasted to Impact the Nipomo Area

4-14-20: Oceano Dunes Scientific Advisory Group Provides Information on the Temporary Closure's Effect on Particulate Matter Emissions

3-16-20: Effective Immediately, SLO County Air Pollution Control District Office Closed to Walk-In Customers

2-27-20: Spooner Prescribed Hazard Reduction Burn - Smoke May Be Present, February 29, 2020

2-6-20: Grant Funding Available for Marine, Infrastructure, School Buses, Woodstove Change-outs and Old Car Buy Back


Press Release Archives (2019 and older)

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