Press Releases

Senate Panel Approves FY 2009 Energy and Water Appropriations Bill

- Bill includes millions for Tahoe priorities -

Washington, DC – The Fiscal Year 2009 Energy and Water appropriations bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee includes millions for important projects in the Lake Tahoe Basin, U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) announced today.

The bill provides $1.5 million for the Placer County Biomass Facility, which will be used to produce energy from hazardous fuels, like dead and dying trees, removed from around the Lake Tahoe Basin.

“Clearing dead and dying trees and brush is critical to keeping Lake Tahoe’s forests healthy and reduces the risk of catastrophic fires. But it’s costly to transport the hazardous fuels out of the area to facilities where it can be treated,” Senator Feinstein said. “This funding will help ensure that a biomass facility is built in the Lake Tahoe Basin to provide the region with an economical way to convert hazardous fuels into renewable energy. This facility is a win-win for Lake Tahoe.”

 The bill also funds the following Lake Tahoe projects, including:

  • $3 million for Tahoe Basin Restoration
  • $500,000 for Lake Tahoe Coordination Study
  • $125,000 for Tahoe Regional Planning

“Lake Tahoe is the crown jewel of California,” Senator Feinstein said. “But the Lake Take Basin faces numerous threats, including the constant danger of catastrophic wildfire due the thousands of dead and dying trees in the region.  The clarity of the Lake’s crystal-blue waters has also been affected by soil erosion and runoff. So, the millions of dollars of funding included in this appropriations bill will provide a much-needed federal hand of assistance to ensure the long-term health of Lake Tahoe and its surrounding forests.”

This funding allows the Army Corps of Engineers to participate in the Lake Tahoe Federal Interagency Partnership, which ensures that Federal actions are coordinated and executed in cooperation with State, local and private actions. The Partnership is designed implement the $2.5 billion Lake Tahoe Environmental Improvement Program to protect the natural, recreational, ecological and economic resources of the Lake Tahoe Basin. Much of this funding will be spent on specific projects, such as Upper Truckee River watershed restoration, Blackwood Creek watershed restoration, initiating construction on Incline Creek restoration, and continuing storm water master planning activities, Angora Fire restoration work and efforts to curtail aquatic invasive species.