Assembly likely to repeal threat to pull out of TRPA

As the Nevada Senate did Monday night, the Assembly is expected to pass legislation repealing Nevada’s threat to pull out of the bi-state Tahoe Regional Planning Agency compact.

And Gov. Brian Sandoval, who supported the threat two years ago in an effort to make different parties come to the table and negotiate a more balanced planning and permitting process at Tahoe, is expected to veto it.

Sandoval’s administration testified against Senate Bill 229, the repeal bill, at an April 2 hearing.

The bi-state panel governs environmental controls and development in the Tahoe Basin that straddles the Nevada-California.

And Senate Natural Resources Chairman Aaron Ford, D-Las Vegas, said at that hearing Sandoval “has already indicated that, without some compromise, he’s not going to sign this.”

“It’s a widely held belief that if it were not for the leadership shown by Gov. Sandoval and Gov. (Jerry) Brown, the recently adopted plan approved by a vote of 12-1 would not have occurred,” said Leo Drozdoff, Conservation and Natural Resources director during the April 2 hearing.

“I believe this bill actually threatens the gains we’ve made over past two years,” he said.

He was joined by TRPA Governing Board member Steve Robinson who said before the 2011 law demanding cooperation and compromise to keep Nevada a member of the agency, “some members barely spoke to each other.”

He said it’s too early to repeal the 2011 law because the various counties around the lake still haven’t put the new plan into effect. He also pointed out the Sierra Club has already sued to block implementation of the compromise plan developed over the past two years.

Environmental and conservation groups argue the law has done its job and should be repealed, so it doesn’t poison the progress made over the past two years.

The new plan approved by TRPA cedes significant authority long held by the bi-state board to the five California and Nevada counties with a share of the basin and, according to supporters of the 2011 law, has helped create a level of communication and cooperation unheard of in the past.

But Kyle Davis of the Nevada Conservation League said the suggestion all progress would cease if the law is repealed doesn’t make sense.

“This idea that everything will shut down, I just don’t buy that,” he said.

SB229 passed the Nevada Senate on an 11-10 party-line vote with Democrats in support.


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