Lockyer talks environment
California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said the state’s environmental legislation to protect Lake Tahoe is strong but stressed that more has to be done.
Lockyer was in South Lake Tahoe July 6 to speak at a fund-raising dinner for the Tahoe-Baikal Institute at Heavenly Valley Resort.
Lockyer said he chose to speak at the fund-raiser because it gave him a chance to outline California’s environmental policies and promote international efforts to protect the environment.
“My responsibilities run to the California tasks associated with Tahoe preservation and other environmental issues,” Lockyer said. “Additionally this is a chance to promote international cooperation to protect similar precious natural resources.”
Lockyer said he thinks Californians are generally conscious about the need to preserve Lake Tahoe, but many do not realize the full scope of the problem.
“I think people understand how important it is to preserve Tahoe and the lake and its environs,” Lockyer said. “I don’t know if most people understand how severe the threats are to its pristine continuance, but certainly it may be the environmental issue about which there is more universal agreement in California.”
Under Lockyer’s leadership, the attorney general’s office has worked to pass environmental legislation on such issues as land use, offshore oil drilling, and water quality. Many of those environmental policies have been directed toward Lake Tahoe.
“My first day on the job I filed to defend the TRPA rules banning the two-stroke Jet Skis and boats on the lake,” Lockyer said. “As a result MTBE levels are down 90 percent this year compared to a year ago. We’ve been involved in an array of environmental protection activities.”
Despite past successes, Lockyer stresses that environmental deterioration of the lake is still a very real problem. He urged state and federal government agencies to increase efforts to save Lake Tahoe.
“More has to be done,” Lockyer said. “We’re still losing a foot of clarity a year in the lake. There have been some important efforts to fund clean-up programs and other remedial efforts by both the federal government, Nevada, California and the local agencies. We need to become even more vigilant to protect the resource.”
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