Tahoe summit starts in Carson for EPA chief

The head of the Environmental Protection Agency is in Carson City this morning on her way to the Tahoe Summit.

Christie Todd Whitman will meet with Gov. Kenny Guinn, Clark County Air Quality Management Director Christine Robinson and Clark County Commissioner Bruce Woodbury this morning before leaving for Lake Tahoe.

After touring Tahoe, Guinn will return to Carson City to hold a closed-door meeting with U.S. Forest Service Chief Dale Bosworth, Regional Forester Jack Blackwell and Nevada State Forester Steve Robinson to discuss the summit.

While at Lake Tahoe, Guinn, Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev., Sen. John Ensign, R-Nev., Rep. Jim Gibbons, R-Nev., and members of the Tahoe Research Group will tour Lake Tahoe on the University of California-Davis Research Boat.

Guinn will be one of the opening speakers for the Lake Tahoe Basin Restoration Summit starting at noon at the Zephyr Cove Resort in Nevada.

The summit will serve as a follow-up to President Bill Clinton's 1997 visit to the lake and his promise to fund a clean-up.

The summit will feature demonstration projects aboard a research vessel, workshops and presentations focusing on the government's role in protecting the lake.

Reid engineered the 1997 summit to focus national attention on the threats to the Tahoe Basin's fragile ecosystem from erosion and air quality concerns caused by tourism and development to the beetle-infested forests that encircle the lake.

Since Clinton signed the authorizing bill last year, $22.6 million of this year's $30 million has been earmarked, according to The Associated Press.

A $20.6 million allocation is included in the Interior budget, which is headed for conference committee, and $2 million is contained in an energy and water bill that's awaiting action in the Senate.

The remaining $7.4 million is expected to be added to other budgets.


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