TRPA approves Stateline stormwater project
A long-awaited $20 million project to stop Stateline pollutants from running into Lake Tahoe gained approval Wednesday from the region’s bistate regulatory agency.
The project will tie together all the runoff treatment facilities in the casino core area, providing additional filtration and sand and oil separation.
The Governing Board of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency unanimously approved the project, which is identified in TRPA’s Environmental Improvement Program. The idea for the project has been around for more than 10 years.
“This is undoubtedly a landmark day for us,” said Kay Bennett, Carson City’s representative on TRPA’s board. “This has been a long, long time in coming.”
Construction is scheduled to begin June 2 and conclude by the end of June 2000.
Many of Stateline’s casinos already have stormwater treatment systems on their properties, which include sand and oil separators, sediment traps and infiltration trenches. As a part of the project, more individual systems will be built, and the runoff from those properties – as well as runoff from nearby Douglas County – and Nevada Department of Transportation maintained roads – will be routed to a common treatment facility behind the Horizon Casino Resort.
The common facility will treat the water with trash-rack and sand- and oil-separation vaults, and it will remove fine particles and hydrocarbons. From there, the water will discharge to wetlands on Edgewood Golf Course before going into Lake Tahoe.
Untreated runoff is believed to be a significant factor in Lake Tahoe’s declining clarity.
Without urbanization, nature is able to handle snow and rainfall. The forest floor naturally filters water, so it doesn’t carry sediment particles to the lake. However, urbanization cheats Mother Nature’s process. The project area is 72 percent impervious land coverage, and the upgrades are expected to provide adequate treatment for all the water.
“(The project is) going to be a substantial improvement over what we have today,” said Gary Midkiff, project consultant.
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