Settlement proposed in Tahoe ski resort complaint | SierraSun.com

Settlement proposed in Tahoe ski resort complaint

The Associated Press

NORTHSTAR-AT-TAHOE ” A Lake Tahoe-area ski resort as agreed to a settlement with environmental regulators over construction-related water quality violations, officials said.

Under the proposal, Northstar Mountain Properties will pay $500,000 in fines and agree to finance $2.25 million in environmental improvements in and around the resort near Truckee, Calif.

“Hopefully, it will send a message that storm-water violations, construction violations, won’t be tolerated,” Harold Singer, executive officer of the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, told the Reno Gazette-Journal.

The settlement will be discussed Wednesday when the board meets at Kings Beach on Lake Tahoe’s north shore.

The proposed settlement stems from failure in 2006 to control storm-water runoff at construction sites and to comply with a cleanup and abatement order, said Scott Ferguson, a senior engineer and member of Lahontan’s prosecution team.

The violations occurred during construction of residential and commercial projects at the ski resort, Ferguson said. They resulted in the discharge of sediment-laden storm water into tributaries of Martis Creek, which feeds the Truckee River.

Blake Riva, manager partner for East West Partners Tahoe, the main partner of Northstar Mountain Properties, said the company is eager to resolve the issue.

Riva said his firm supports the settlement and that the violations occurred when it tried to “undertake too much construction too fast.”

“We would prefer not to be in a position of paying any fines, but we believe it’s a positive that the funds are being used for local environmental programs,” Riva said.