League to Save Lake Tahoe is calling for public support to help secure federal funds for the preservation and restoration of Lake Tahoe.
On Sept. 15, the U.S. Senate passed the $10-billion Water Resources Development Act, which included the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act.
The restoration act authorized $415 million over 10 years for forest management, environmental and watershed restoration, storm water management and other environmental projects in Lake Tahoe.
Soon after its passage in the Senate, the House of Representative passed its version of the Water Resources Development Act — but it did not include the measures related to Lake Tahoe.
“Before Congress went on recess, the House did pass a version of the Water Resources Development Act, but it did not include the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act,” said Darcie Goodman Collins, executive director of League to Save Lake Tahoe.
“In the Senate version there were four areas of restoration, including Lake Tahoe. The Great Lakes was the only one of the four that made it into the House version, but that allows us an opening to get Lake Tahoe into the final version of the legislation.”
Before the legislation advances for consideration by the White House, the Senate and House will convene to iron out the differences in the two bills.
Until then, said Goodman Collins, lobbyists in Washington D.C. will continue to push for the inclusion of all restorative measures from the Senate bill to be included in the final legislation.
Congress is slated to return on Monday, Nov. 14.
“Supporters and anyone interested in pushing along the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act are encouraged to contact their representatives to push for the inclusion of the Lake Tahoe measure,” she added.
Goodman Collins recommends contacting Senators James M. Inhofe or Barbara Boxer, chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the U.S. Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works; or Representatives Bill Shuster and Peter DeFazio, chairman and ranking member of the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee.
“This is the farthest we’ve gotten along in process, and I’m optimistic that we will get this passed,” said Goodman Collins.
The Lake Tahoe Restoration Act was sponsored by Nevada Senators Harry Reid and Dean Heller alongside California Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer.