More fertilizer use may have to be reported

Only golf courses at Lake Tahoe Basin are required to report how much fertilizer they use each year, but that may change.

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency wants to require all large-scale users of fertilizer to track their usage and submit totals each year, beginning in 2004.

Fertilizers often contain nutrients such as phosphorous and nitrogen that experts say fuel the growth of algae, which is contributing to Lake Tahoe's loss of clarity.

Large-scale users include parks, cemeteries, plant nurseries, ball fields and yards with an acre of turf.

On Wednesday, the TRPA Advisory Planning Commission will hold a public hearing on the proposed changes.

The changes to the agency's fertilizer management plan could be voted on on Dec. 18 by the TRPA Governing Board, which is meeting a week earlier than normal because of Christmas.

The California Attorney General's Office, as well the TRPA's 2001 Threshold Evaluation report, have recommended the agency improve how it manages fertilizer. Both requested that action be taken on the program before any building rights or allocations are approved for 2003.

The planning commission in September recommended an allocation system that would tie the amount of building in the basin more closely to projects that benefit the environment. The system was scheduled to be voted on by the board that month, but it was taken off the agenda so TRPA Deputy Director Carl Hasty could field comments from government agencies.

On Dec. 18, the board is also expected to review the agency's fertilizer-management program.


What: Tahoe Regional Planning Agency Advisory Planning Commission

When: 9:30 a.m. Wednesday

Where: North Tahoe Community Conference Center, Kings Beach

Why: Public hearings on fertilizer use and a change that could move up a deadline to install erosion controls at homes


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