SLO County Air Pollution Control District
Spring 2019 e-Newsletter
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New APCD Video!
May is Clean Air Month and the APCD works hard every day to protect the blue skies in San Luis Obispo County. We share a common goal with the community we serve, to live in an area with clean, fresh air. In honor of Clean Air Month, we created a short video about our mission and goals. Check it out! 
Oceano Dunes Workshop & Community Monitoring Project
On May 1, representatives from SLO County APCD (APCD), State Parks, and the Scientific Advisory Group (SAG) held a public workshop attended by more than 200 community members to discuss the Oceano Dunes Draft Particulate Matter Reduction Plan (DPMRP) and the Oceano Community Monitoring Project. During the workshop, the agencies and SAG described the progress of ongoing mitigation, restoration efforts and monitoring programs.
Members of the public had the opportunity to speak with representatives from the agencies and SAG during a breakout session. Throughout the workshop, the public was invited to submit written questions and comments on the DPMRP. Over 100 questions and 39 comments were received at the workshop, followed by 34 more comments submitted during the subsequent public review period. All of these comments are available on our website. During the workshop, the written questions were organized and APCD staff read highlighted questions to the agencies and SAG who responded to the workshop attendees.
APCD staff also presented the status of the Oceano Community Monitoring Project during this workshop. Last spring, a resident of Oceano nominated the community for participation in the Community Air Protection (CAP) Program. This incentive program was introduced by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2017 in response to Assembly Bill 617 (AB 617) and established a special funding source that air districts can use to improve the air quality in low income and disadvantaged communities across California. As a result of the CAP Program and in response to the nomination, APCD is allocating CAP funding to purchase, install, and manage several particulate matter (PM) sensors throughout Oceano. These new air monitors allow APCD to evaluate air quality by measuring ambient particulate matter concentrations. Monitoring data will be made available, in the late fall, to the public on our Oceano Community Monitoring Page. For questions regarding the May workshop proceedings or the Community Monitoring Project, please contact Jackie Mansoor at or 805-781-5983.
Conservation Burn Training Workshop in Paso Robles
In April, the APCD co-hosted a Conservation Burn Training and Biochar Production Workshop at J. Lohr Vineyards in Paso Robles. With the help of the Vineyard Team and the Sonoma Ecology Center, this workshop provided classroom instruction followed by a demonstration burn. This hands-on training included over 25 attendees from vineyards, orchards, CalFire, the Resource Conservation District, and Cal Poly.
The workshop began with a presentation on the science behind the conservation burn technique and the simple alterations land managers can make to their traditional pile burn techniques that enable their operations to become more sustainable and economical. The second half of the workshop involved a live demonstration of a conservation burn using dried vines removed from vineyard blocks.
Some of the most promising benefits of conservation burning include the reduction of visible smoke and other pollutant emissions and conserving carbon through the production of biochar. Biochar produced during the burns can be used as a soil amendment that increases crop production, retains nutrients and water, and provides long-term carbon sequestration in the soil. To learn more about conservation burning and how it’s conducted, visit the Vineyard Team’s info page.
Conserving Energy this Summer
Before the weather starts heating up this summer, remember that the electricity generated to power a single household creates tons of air pollution every year. The less energy you and your family use during peak power hours, the less pollution generated by electricity production. By making a few simple changes around your home and office, you can help reduce your electricity consumption while keeping emissions to a minimum. Here are a few tips and tricks for staying cool, comfortable, and efficient this summer:

  • Switch out older incandescent, halogen, or CFL light bulbs with more energy-efficient LED bulbs.
  • Instead of turning on the AC, use ceiling fans in a counterclockwise direction to create a wind chill effect and turn them off when leaving the rooms.
  • Raise the temperature on your thermostat to as high as comfortable while you sleep or are away from home and regularly clean and replace the air filter to have it functioning as effectively and efficiently as possible.
  • Try out an evaporative cooler, or swamp cooler, to bring cooler air in and push warmer air outside.
  • Keeping windows and curtains closed and blinds shut during the day will help block out heat from the sun and keep the room cooler for longer.
  • When doing laundry, try to use less water, cooler water, and wash fuller loads; hang dry or air-dry linens instead of using the dryer; washers and dryers are some of the highest energy-consuming appliances in homes and require lots of electricity just to heat up.
  • Unplug wall chargers and other battery chargers once electronics are fully charged or if the charger is not being used.
Staff Spotlight
The APCD team has been going through a few changes within the last several months with retirements and new hires. Since our last newsletter, we’ve welcomed a new Engineering & Compliance Technician to the APCD team and have hired one of our temporary Air Quality Specialists as a permanent employee! Get to know them a little bit more below:
Carissa Reynolds | Engineering & Compliance Technician
Carissa grew up in a mountain town in northern California called Weaverville. After graduating from high school, she attended Cuesta College and later transferred to Humboldt State University where she graduated in 2016 with a Bachelor of Science in Environmental Science. Since graduating, her work experience has ranged from Interpretive Park Ranger for the Bureau of Land Management to Consulting Utility Forester for Davey Resource Group. She enjoys biking, gardening, and coaching the girl’s wrestling team at Morro Bay High School in her spare time.

Fun Fact: Carissa was the first female wrestler at Cuesta College!
Jackie Mansoor | Air Quality Specialist I
Jackie grew up near Sacramento and made her way down to San Luis Obispo to attend graduate school at Cal Poly. Last June, she graduated with a Master’s in City and Regional Planning. During her second year as a grad student, she was hired as an intern for the APCD in the Planning Division. After receiving her Master’s, she stayed on as a full-time temporary Air Quality Specialist for about 8 months until she was hired as a permanent Air Quality Specialist I. She’s very excited for the opportunity to be a permanent employee and to continue working on all her projects throughout the County. Jackie loves gardening and was passionate about helping with the APCD’s garden and landscaping project. She and a few other volunteers from the staff completely transformed the garden outside our office and helped plant a variety of vegetables. She’s extremely happy about how it turned out and can’t wait for the summer veggies to arrive!

Fun Fact: Jackie walks to work almost every day!
Bike Month Activities!
The month of May provides an opportunity for the APCD to promote bicycling as a healthy alternative mode of personal transportation. This year the APCD worked on the third annual bicycle ridership count project during April and May in cooperation with the City of SLO, Bike SLO County and Rideshare. In addition to being sponsors of SLO Regional Rideshare's Bike Month efforts, we also had several staffers participate in Bike to Work Day on May 17!
Have you seen all the wildflowers “poppy-ing” up around the county lately? These are some in our garden! 
Our 2nd Annual Staff Lunchtime Easter Egg hunt was a success.... hid 200 eggs and almost found them all 😂
What are you doing on this beautiful Saturday?! We have some staff volunteering in our awesome new veggie garden! 
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