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Lawsuit Puts Future Of Lake Tahoe 4th Of July Fireworks In Limbo

The Tahoe Daily Tribune, Jonah M. Kessel / AP Photo

The Tahoe Daily Tribune, Jonah M. Kessel / AP Photo

The authority's resolution states: 

“LTVA shall not contract for events, including, but not limited to, the fireworks displays; the July 4, 2014 Independence Day Celebration is cancelled and henceforth LTVA shall not contract for or conduct any fireworks displays; LTVA shall continue to assist the community to promote and market events and activities at Tahoe South and assist the community to improve the economy and environment at Tahoe South.”

In a statement, the authority said Friday that the lawsuit could have paralyzing effects to the local economy.

7 A.M. Bright bursts light the night sky at last year's 4th of July Lake Tahoe fireworks show. The debris falls in the water.

Joan Truxler lives in Zephyr cove and walks the beach. She finds the trash.

“It is against the law to put pollutants in the lake," says Truxler.

Truxler has sued the Lake Tahoe Visitors’ Authority saying it is violating the federal Clean Water Act by not cleaning up after the fireworks. Last night, the Authority Board voted to stop sponsoring the shows if a settlement can’t be reached with Truxler by April 4th. Tahoe Chamber CEO B Gorman is worried. The fireworks bring in more than $40 million a year.

“It is unconscionable to me, it really is, for something that doesn’t need to be in a court room and could be discussed in a more compassionate and mature manner," says Truxler.

The authority and Truxler’s attorney have been negotiating and Truxler says she doesn’t want the fireworks to stop. She says she will drop the suit if the Authority applies for a clean water permit from the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection.

“They don’t have to have the permit in hand all they have to do is begin the process, so there is middle ground here," says Truxler.

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