Tahoe Governing Body Passes Water Quality Plan
Here at WETLAB, Western Environmental Testing Laboratory, we keep an eye on water quality issues throughout Northern Nevada and the surrounding region, and perhaps no other place within the region gets more attention than Lake Tahoe.
Recently, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, a bi-state agency that governs Lake Tahoe, passed an update to it’s 1987 regional plan in a 12-1 vote – an update that took the better part of a decade, according to an article in the Tahoe Daily Tribune.
The overarching goal of the plan is to reduce polluting runoff into the lake that reduces clarity – specifically targeting fine sediments that stay suspended in the water and nutrients that aid in growth, according to the article.
The updates specifically will allow investment in old, outdated properties that are known sources of runoff into Lake Tahoe.
But the TRPA has drawn criticism from both developers and from environmentalists, and it’s contentiousness has drawn the discussion out over many years.
Developers believe the Regional Plan to be to restrictive of construction and development so far as to hamper economic growth, while environmental groups contend the plan does not do enough to address the TRPA’s environmental goals.
The update allows increased building height, building density and developed coverage around the lake, according to critics, the article states.
“Earthjustice has represented local interests and conservation groups in the past to protect the lake and regions around its shoreline from unbridled construction and development,” said Earthjustice Attorney Wendy Park on the issue. “The population of California is growing rapidly and Lake Tahoe needs stronger, not weaker, protections to stay the very special mountain lake everyone cherishes.”
Whether the update is faced with legal challenges is not yet known, according to the article.
This will be an interesting water quality issue to watch, both for Northern Nevada and Northern California.