County approves MTBE ban |

County approves MTBE ban

An ordinance to prohibit the sale of MTBE in the Lake Tahoe Basin portion of the county was unanimously approved Tuesday by the El Dorado County Board of Supervisors.

“It’s time to get serious,” said Dave Solaro, 5th district supervisor and member of the Lake Tahoe Region Water Preservation Authority which sponsored the item.

“We have five stations on the South Shore who, for whatever reason, are not complying with the old ordinance that asks for voluntary cooperation in not selling MTBE-enhanced gas.”

The city of South Lake Tahoe supported the board’s ordinance through a resolution Tuesday night at a public meeting.

“We’re all in agreement here. We just need to get into gear and start enforcing county air and resources board laws. We can’t fool around with our sensitive environment at the lake nor compromise our clean water supply,” Solaro said.

The board waived the first reading in order to accelerate the adoption process which will take place March 28. The ordinance will then go into effect 30 days after it is adopted.

The clerk’s office has not received any opposition to the ordinance which is expected to pass. The only call came from an ARCO employee who wanted a copy of the proposal.

The ordinance calls for an immediate ban of MTBE in the vulnerable Lake Tahoe subregion of the county with groundwater that could be affected by fuel containing the additive.

Gas stations found in violation of the ordinance will be fined $1,000 and/or jailed for six months. A separate penalty will accumulate for each day the problem isn’t corrected.

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