Lake Tahoe Golf Course finishes diesel spill cleanup |

Lake Tahoe Golf Course finishes diesel spill cleanup

by Andy Bourelle

Cleanup of a diesel spill at Lake Tahoe Golf Course has been completed, and the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board likely will decide within two weeks whether to issue a fine against the responsible parties.

Diesel fuel leaked from the tank of a snow-grooming machine at a snowmobile park at Lake Tahoe Golf Course last winter. The spill was first reported in late April, nearly two months after it happened. The amount of the spill is unknown, but the tank it leaked from held 30 gallons.

“We did not detect any diesel in the Upper Truckee River, but we did detect it in the pond nearby that discharges into the river,” said Chuck Curtis, water resource control engineer for Lahontan. “There’s no doubt diesel fuel did go into the river.”

Contamination levels found in the pond were 120 parts diesel per billion parts water. In a drop inlet leading to the pond, levels of 140,000 parts per billion were detected. The action level for diesel is 100 parts per billion.

Officials excavated soil, built dikes and used absorbent pads to clean up the contamination.

Lahontan is evaluating whether to fine the snow groom machine operators Lake Tahoe Winter Sports Center, the golf course or neither party.

“The executive officer will make some determination as to whether to do an Administrative Civil Liability, otherwise known as a fine,” Curtis said. “We have given fines in similar circumstances, in similar situations of illegal discharge.”

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