Settlement may be near in Reno suit against sanitation agency
Representatives are tight-lipped about ongoing negotiations to settle a suit brought by the cities of Reno and Sparks and the Pyramid Lake Pauite Tribe against the Truckee Tahoe Sanitation Agency.
The suit was brought after TTSA and its board of directors approved the environmental impact report for the agency’s expansion of its water reclamation plant.
“There is a draft agreement being circulated right now among the parties,” said John Jackson of the Pyramid Lake Pauite Tribe.
“We are in negotiations now and working on a solution that will make everybody happy,” said City of Reno spokesman Chris Good.
The suit, originally filed in January in Nevada County Superior Court, alleges that the sanitation agency and board of directors failed to comply with the California Environmental Quality Act by approving an environmental impact report that didn’t adequately assess all possible impacts on the Truckee River and Pyramid Lake.
The suit subsequently seeks to “void the certification” of the environmental impact report prepared for the expansion project.
It also seeks to direct the agency to prepare a legally adequate report before any of the subsequent work for the project is contracted out.
The suit alleges the expansion of the treatment plant would “dramatically increase pollutant loadings” – up to 21,000 pounds per year – that would “violate water quality objectives adopted for the protection of the river and would significantly degrade the water quality and aquatic habitat of both the river and lake.”
The bodies of water are home to two species, Cui-ui and the Lahontan Cutthroat Trout, listed under the federal Endangered Species Act.
Good and other representatives wouldn’t elaborate if negotiations would lead to a new environmental impact report.
In February, TTSA General Manager Craig Woods said the lawsuit raised several concerns, including: limited water allocations, the impact it would have on new developments in North Tahoe and increased costs of installing the new equipment called for in the suit.
The prospect of TTSA delaying issuance of sewer permits was also raised by agency officials, but TTSA General manager Craig Woods could not be reached for comment on the impact, if any, the suit has had.
Kevin McCall, who represents Waddle Ranch Investors LLC for Ward Young Architecture and Planning, said it was his understanding that the “negotiations were close to being resolved.”
The water reclamation plant serves five sewer collection districts, including the North Tahoe Public Utility and the Truckee Sanitation District.
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