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Federal Judge Hears Lawsuit Over Lake Tahoe Development

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

Amy Quinton / Capital Public Radio

The Sierra Club and Friends of the West Shore say the Tahoe Regional Plan, which passed in 2012, would intensify development around the lake and harm the environment. Attorneys argued that TRPA never looked at the effect paved surfaces could have near Tahoe's shore and in nearby streams. John Marshall, attorney with the TRPA disagrees.

“We looked exactly at that issue and our studies concluded that it would show a dramatic increase in water quality or a decrease in the amount of pollutants put into the lake.” says Marshall.

But Wendy Park an attorney for the environmental groups says those studies are flawed.

“The model assumed a perfect scenario where all water pollution controls would work, would function effectively when there was a very poor track record that TRPA had for enforcing these water pollution controls,” she says.

US District Court Judge John Mendez asked plaintiffs what more the TRPA could do to ensure the plan doesn't lead to environmental degradation of the lake.

Marshall says the question bodes well for their case.

Judge Mendez could take a few weeks to a few months to make a decision. 


Amy Quinton

Former Environment Reporter

Amy came to Sacramento from New Hampshire Public Radio (NHPR) where she was Environment Reporter. Amy has also reported for NPR member stations WFAE in Charlotte, WAMU in Washington D.C. and American Public Media's "Marketplace."  Read Full Bio 

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