COMMITTEE TO CONTINUE THE REVIEW
OF THE TAHOE REGIONAL PLANNING AGENCY
(S.C.R. 16, File No. 77, Statutes of Nevada 1999)
The mission of the committee as outlined in S.C.R. 16 is to review the budget, programs, activities, responsiveness, and accountability of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) and to study the role and activities of each federal and state agency having authority to regulate activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin. The committee is also directed to continue to communicate with its counterparts in the California Legislature in order to achieve the goals established through the Bistate Compact.
Because the committee has been reestablished during every interim except one since 1985, its role has become one of continuing legislative oversight for the broad range of programs and activities in the Basin.
Committee Proceedings and Major Issues
In recent years, the Committee to Continue the Review of the TRPA has recommended that the emphasis in the Lake Tahoe Basin shift from planning per se to the implementation of projects and programs (move from outlining actions that need to be taken to actually taking the actions). The Presidential Forum in 1997 fostered this trend by highlighting that major projects to protect and enhance the environment in the Basin must be completed within the next 10 years if the deterioration of water quality is to be turned around. Based on this premise, an Environmental Improvement Program has been compiled to define the specific projects and funding needed to implement these projects during the 10-year time period. This Environmental Improvement Program also identifies the responsibilities as they rest with the States of Nevada and California, the Federal Government, local governments in the Basin, and the private sector.
The major function of the committee at its first two meetings has been to review the efforts of these participants in gearing up to implement the Environmental Improvement Program. The committee has also received testimony concerning specific programs and issues in the Basin. The remaining two meetings will be directed toward receiving and acting upon specific recommendations of significance to activities in the Basin.
The major issue will continue to be implementation of the Environmental Improvement Program. Of concern will be sources of funding for all responsible parties, the timing of actual project implementation, and coordination among the involved entities. Specific additional issues appear to include the Environmental Impact Statement for shorezone activities in the Basin, parking along Highway 28 in Nevada, sources of revenue for local governments in the Basin, appointment of a new executive director for the TRPA, and the budget for the Agency. A recently published “Environmental Assessment” for the Basin compiles the scientific information generated over the years and identifies gaps in the research and basic information.
In order to coordinate the basic programs and issues related to bistate funding of the Agency, the committee plans to go to Sacramento, California, to discuss these matters with its legislative counterparts in mid-spring. Recommendations will be adopted and forwarded to the Legislative Commission and the next session of the Nevada Legislature.