CA, NV governors reach Lake Tahoe deal
May 17, 2013
Gov. Brian Sandoval and California Gov. Jerry Brown have worked out a deal they say will renew the bi-state partnership to preserve Lake Tahoe.
Sandoval said the plan was developed with legislative leadership from both states and will begin with bids to repeal both Nevada's threatened withdrawal from the Tahoe Regional Compact and California's plan to re-establish the California Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
In a joint announcement, the two governors said each state has committed to provisions requiring that economic conditions be included in developing and adopting rules at the lake "as well as language establishing a burden of proof for challenging a regional plan and decisions."
The two promised to work closely with state legislators and Congress to get those amendments in place on both Nevada's SB229 and California's proposed legislation.
But they added that some updates to the regional compact will require Congress to sign off.
The Bi-State Compact that provides for management of the Tahoe Basin by the TRPA was created and sanctified by Congress in 1969. The regional plan directing TRPA's activities was updated this past year after Nevada threatened to withdraw from the compact unless significant changes were made.
SB229 repealing the withdrawal threat was approved by the Senate this session but Sandoval threatened to veto it saying it was too soon. His spokesman Conservation and Natural Resource Director Leo Drozdoff told lawmakers that bill actually threatened the progress made since the legislation threatening withdrawal was passed in 2011.
While environmental groups pushed for repeal saying the law had done its job, Drozdoff said it was too early because the newly approved regional plan had not yet been implemented by the various counties around the lake and that the Sierra Club had already sued to block the compromise plan developed over the past two years.
The agreement announced May 19 by Sandoval and Brown says the deal they have worked out will allow both states to move forward to implement the new plan approved by TRPA. That plan surrenders a significant amount of authority long held by the TRPA Governing Board to local governments and the two states.