By Kathryn Reed
It’s settled – there will be fireworks on the South Shore of Lake Tahoe this summer.
After a daylong session of hashing out their differences Monday, both sides agreed to a variety of concessions that will allow for the Lake Tahoe Visitors Authority to remain in the fireworks business and for the Truxlers, who brought the lawsuit, to possibly not have to deal with debris on their beach in the future.
“We are thrilled. We never wanted the fireworks show to go away,” Joan Truxler told Lake Tahoe News. “I feel that we have gotten a wonderful amount of awareness to what Joe and I ever wanted, which was to keep the health of Lake Tahoe.”
The Truxlers last year brought a lawsuit against LTVA and Pyro Spectacular after debris kept washing up on Pinewild Beach in Marla Bay. The suit sought penalties through the Clean Water Act that could have topped $70 million.
Last week at an emergency meeting the LTVA board voted that if a resolution could not be found this week, it would cancel the fireworks shows as well as get out the events business altogether.
Now that won’t happen.
The shows will go on.
“The parties are pleased that a settlement to dismiss the lawsuit was reached that will allow the Fourth 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,” Carol Chaplin, head of LTVA, said in a statement.
Tahoe Douglas Fire Protection District will be the lead permitting agency. This also means the barge where the fireworks are shot off from will be moved into Nevada. It has been inching that way through the years.
“Something we have been working on since the last Fourth of July with [Tahoe Regional Planning Agency] and LTVA is to develop a best management for fireworks,” Eric Guevin, Tahoe Douglas fire marshal, told Lake Tahoe News. “We have come up with a plan and will include that as part of the permit process and we can enforce it under fire safety laws. A component of it is cleanup.”
Tahoe Douglas will use its personal watercraft to assist with cleanup. Without a propeller on the devices, they can get closer to rocks to get any material that escaped the immediate discharge area.
The fire agency has long been involved in fireworks permitting, including shows at Edgewood Tahoe, Glenbrook and private parties.