Tahoe cleanup efforts may get $16.2 million
CARSON CITY (AP) – Nevada would hit the halfway mark in its $82 million commitment of Lake Tahoe cleanup funds, under terms of a measure discussed Monday in an Assembly committee.
AB177, reviewed by Assembly Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining, authorizes $16.2 million in bonds for various projects. That’s in addition to nearly $39 million already approved by Nevada.
Jim Lawrence, Lake Tahoe program coordinator for the state Lands Division, told lawmakers that most of the latest money would be used for water quality and stream restoration projects. That includes work along State Route 28 and U.S. Highway 50 on the Nevada side of the lake.
Part of the funding also would be used for forest health and recreation projects, and efforts to restore old parking lots or roads to natural conditions, Lawrence said.
Assemblyman Greg Brower, R-Reno, who chaired an interim study panel on Tahoe issues, described the bill as ”the next installment” of several Nevada will make through 2007, as part of an overall $900 million Tahoe preservation effort.
The rest of the money is coming from federal sources, the state of California and from local governments ringing the scenic mountain lake.
The committee also reviewed a related bill, AB176, which ensures that some of the money can be used for environmental projects on private land, and not just public lands.
A third measure commends California and the California Tahoe Conservancy for their environmental improvement efforts at the lake.
Experts have said the cleanup projects are needed to prevent Tahoe’s clear, azure blue waters from turning a murky green. Once that happens, they warn that the damage will be irreversible.
Natural Resources, Agriculture and Mining Chairwoman Marcia de Braga, D-Fallon, said after the hearing that no votes were taken on the measures, but she expects no problems in moving them to the Assembly floor and finally to the state Senate.
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