California law mandates that the TRPA reduce greenhouse gas emissions five percent by 2035. Now, the agency has a plan in place to reduce emissions by seven percent with modifications of transportation and land use patterns. The TRPA’s Jeff Cowen says a greenhouse gas emissions study by the California Tahoe Conservancy paved the way to go even beyond that seven percent. Cowan said, that can be accomplished by requiring local jurisdictions to meet green building standards.
“But now it is giving us the nod to look ahead and start looking to local government to put green building codes in place to start improving energy efficiency of buildings and homes,” Cowan said.
The plan also encourages schools, homeowners and businesses to retrofit buildings for energy efficiency and there is a 230-page Sustainability Action Plan, including ways to reduce greenhouse emissions voluntarily.
"It could mean retrofitting existing buildings with more energy efficient windows and doors as well,” Cowan added.
Squaw Valley Ski Resort, Liberty Utilities and Tesla are hoping to use renewable batteries as a backup power source for the resort and surrounding homes.
Summertime is a favorite for tourists at Lake Tahoe, but the region's transportation system is not designed for the growing number of people who use it. The TRPA and TERC are coming up with a plan to fix the gridlock and improve the lake's clarity.
A waste management agency in South Lake Tahoe has started offering homeowners loans to buy bear-proof garbage bins. It's an effort to reduce conflicts with the animals who wander into neighborhoods in search of food.
It looks like this year's fire season will start later than normal in the Tahoe area...sometime in July-August rather than the typical May-June time frame. That's because of the wet winter and a snowpack 200 to 300 percent of normal.
Homes and businesses in Truckee and Lake Tahoe are under several feet of snow.