SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--LAKE TAHOE – Traffic congestion at Lake Tahoe and the associated pollution due to projects being developed just outside the Tahoe Basin present a critical threat to Lake Tahoe clarity, according to the League to Save Lake Tahoe (Keep Tahoe Blue). Projects near the Lake that are in the final stages of approval circumvent the standards that protect the Lake and will flood the area with pollution and gridlock says the 59-year old nonprofit environmental watchdog organization.
“Projects planned for the edges of the Tahoe Basin aimed at Tahoe visitors and second home buyers will deeply impact the Lake. Developers are offering no solutions to what they admit will be huge traffic impacts at Tahoe,” said Darcie Goodman Collins, PhD, executive director for the League to Save Lake Tahoe.
Additional traffic seriously threatens Lake Tahoe’s health by dramatically increasing air pollution that feeds algae. Recent science also found that the top cause of clarity loss in Lake Tahoe is fine sediment pollution, caused by cars crushing the road sands used to make winter driving safer.
Placer County (CA) records show that large new projects at Martis Valley West, on a ridge overlooking Lake Tahoe, and Squaw Valley include units that will draw thousands of people to Tahoe but do not fall under the direct oversight of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, which the U.S. Congress founded 47 years ago to protect the Lake.
Developer plans admit that their projects combined may add over 36,000 vehicle miles traveled per day in and around the Tahoe Basin, comparable to 2,000 cars driving 18 miles each to get to Lake destinations.
“The League is concerned that nearby developments that circumvent Tahoe standards will become a new tactic for those looking to make a profit but hesitant to provide environmental benefits to the Lake as required by TRPA,” said Collins.
“Local government agencies and TRPA must insist on developers providing reasonable solutions — such as direct financial support for high quality public transportation — for the negative impacts to Tahoe posed by their projects.”