Nevada Gov. Brian Sandoval and California Gov. Jerry Brown have agreed to meet to discuss the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency.
Sandoval issued a statement Thursday saying the two have been discussing management of the Tahoe Basin since the 2011 Lake Tahoe Summit.
The issue came to a head last week after the Nevada Senate passed legislation that would repeal the 2011 law threatening to pull Nevada out of the bi-state compact controlling the basin unless California lawmakers agreed to major changes in how business and environmental issues are managed there.
Sandoval served notice to Sen. Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, who chairs the Natural Resources Committee, that he didn’t agree with the repeal and would not sign it.
“Nevada and California have a long history of collaboration beginning with Governors (Ronald) Reagan and (Paul) Laxalt and, as we move forward on a new management plan for the Tahoe Basin, it is critical that both states have an open dialogue,” Sandoval said.
While in Sacramento, Sandoval said he also will meet with California State Sen. Fran Pavley who represents the Tahoe Basin in the Legislature there. Pavley has sponsored California’s legislation that would remove that state from the TRPA.
Sandoval spokesman Leo Drozdoff, head of the Conservation and Natural Resources Department, said he believes repealing that legislation “actually threatens the gains we’ve made over the past two years.”
Steve Robinson, the department’s appointee to the TRPA Governing Board, also said it’s too early to repeal the law because different local governments in the basin haven’t yet put the plan into effect. That plan cedes significant authority from the TRPA to the counties around the lake.
In addition, Robinson said the Sierra Club has already sued to block implementation of that plan.
Environmental groups including the Nevada Conservation League argued the law did its job. Kyle Davis of the league said he doesn’t believe that the cooperation developed over the past two years would simply disappear if the law was repealed.
Sandoval said in addition to Tahoe and TRPA, he will talk about renewable energy issues with Brown when they meet.
“Regional partnerships are important for both states,” he said.