UPDATE 9AM 4/1/2014:
The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority (LTVA) has announced an agreement has been reached to dismiss the lawsuit, ensuring South Lake Tahoe’s future fireworks celebrations will continue.
“Preserving the 4th of July and Labor Day shows and keeping Lake Tahoe and its beaches clean are of the utmost importance to our community,” said LTVA Executive Director Carol Chaplin. “The parties are pleased that a settlement to dismiss the lawsuit was reached that will allow the 4th of July and Labor Day shows to continue with increased local agency oversight of the post-show cleanup of fireworks debris and a hot-line for residents to contact if they see fireworks debris from the shows that needs to be cleaned up.
“We would like to thank everyone for their efforts to bring this to an amicable conclusion. It’s a win for the community.”
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, CA - The Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority is going to wait a little longer to figure out whether the annual Fourth of July fireworks celebration will go on as planned this year. The LTVA held an emergency meeting Thursday in response to a $70 million lawsuit filed by Lake Tahoe residents who say the fireworks pollute the lake and beaches.
The lawsuit was filed by Joseph and Joan Truxler in November and it claimed organizers violated the Clean Water Act because they didn’t get a special permit. But the LTVA’s attorney Lew Feldman said, "On the one hand the Truxlers are saying you are in violation of the Clean Water Act because you need this permit that the Nevada Department of Environmental Protection would issue and the agency in charge says you don’t need the permit, so what is the LTVA to do?"
Local businesses say canceling the shows will cost them, as Fourth of July is one of the biggest days of the year and some businesses see an increase in revenue by 25 percent.
The Fire Department offered to handle the permitting and everyone at the meeting offered to help with cleanup efforts. Nevada Lt. Gov. Brian Krolicki said, “The Krolicki family will volunteer on the morning of July 5th to walk up and down the beach and do other things to make sure that the remnants of whatever happened on Fourth of July are fully cleaned up.”
At this point, the best legal option is for the LTVA to get out of the fireworks business, unless it can come to a resolution with the plaintiffs by April 4th.