TMDL: A Regionwide Water Quality Plan

Despite pressure to weaken this landmark long-term water quality plan, the League in 2010 successfully advocated to keep strong protections for Lake Tahoe in the Total Maximum Daily Load, which was approved in November, 2010, by the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board and in 2011 by the Environmental Protection Agency. The TMDL limits the amount of pollution each jurisdiction may allow to enter Tahoe’s waterways. It is expected to reduce the amount of sediment and nutrients flowing into the lake by a steady amount per year. Although flawed in some ways because it does not factor in climate change, the TMDL is considered a roadmap toward restoring Tahoe’s clarity to 100 feet within 65 years.

The League continues to work to ensure the TMDL is successfully implemented through policy. We’ll also be working to ensure permits are enforced and jurisdictions are held accountable for water quality improvements. “It really is our only hammer and mechanism to influence jurisdictions to reduce pollution and improve water quality,” said Goodman-Collins, the League’s executive director.

Read the League and Sierra Club's joint March 2011 letter to the State Water Resources Control Board regarding Tahoe's TMDL.

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