Padilla Introduces Bipartisan Bill to Keep Federal Dollars Coming to Lake Tahoe

WASHINGTON, D.C. — Today, U.S. Senators Alex Padilla and Dianne Feinstein (both D-Calif.) along with Senators Catherine Cortez Masto and Jacky Rosen (both D-Nev.) introduced bipartisan, bicameral legislation to extend the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act through 2034.

The original Lake Tahoe Restoration Act was passed in 2000 and authorized $300 million for the restoration of the lake and surrounding basin. The current authorization, which was passed in 2016, will expire in 2024. Reauthorizing the bill will prevent an interruption in conservation and restoration planning.

“Lake Tahoe is a California treasure and we must do everything we can to protect it for future generations,” said Senator Padilla. “As the threats of climate change severely escalate, we must reauthorize the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to provide critical funding to preserve Lake Tahoe and protect it against pollution, invasive species, and wildfires.”

“The public-private partnership formed more than two decades ago to save Lake Tahoe has had tremendous success, investing more than $2.6 billion on nearly 750 restoration projects,” said Senator Feinstein. “But now the lake is facing new threats, particularly from climate change. The lake is warming faster than our oceans and the basin faces increased risks from wildfire. Passing our bill will reaffirm the federal government’s commitment to saving the Jewel of the Sierras.”

“We’ve made incredible progress in preserving Lake Tahoe for future generations, but there is still more to do to protect the lake from the impacts of pollution, the threat of invasive species, and the increasing number of visitors who come to enjoy the lake each year,” said Senator Cortez Masto. “Reauthorizing this critical legislation will ensure the communities around Lake Tahoe continue to have the resources they need to support local jobs, welcome tourists, and combat climate change.”

“Lake Tahoe is one of our state’s natural treasures and an economic driver of Northern Nevada’s tourism and local economy. We’ve come a long way in protecting and preserving our beautiful lake and surrounding communities from the effects of climate change, and we must continue our conservation efforts,” said Senator Rosen. “I’m proud to help introduce the Lake Tahoe Restoration Act to make sure that future generations can enjoy Lake Tahoe.”

This legislation is supported in the House by Representatives Mark Amodei (R-Nev.-02), John Garamendi (D-Calif.-03), Dina Titus (D-Nev.- 01), Susie Lee (D-Nev.-03), and Steven Horsford (D-Nev.-04).

Senator Padilla has been a champion for Lake Tahoe in the U.S. Senate. He led the 25th Annual Tahoe Summit and launched the first virtual exhibit to highlight the pioneering conservation work of the Summit. As a member of the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee, Padilla also secured provisions in the Water Resources Development Act of 2022 to authorize U.S. Army Corps of Engineers civil works and ecosystem restoration activities in the Lake Tahoe Basin, including the planning, design, and construction of urban stormwater treatment facilities, watershed science, and environmental restoration.

Senator Padilla supported $7 million in critical funding for fire suppression water infrastructure in the Tahoe Basin through the FY22 appropriations package, made even more essential by the recent Caldor Fire. Additionally, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service awarded $3.4 million in funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, which Padilla voted to pass last year. These new cooperative agreements with the Washoe Tribe of California and Nevada and the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency will help combat the spread of aquatic invasive species in Lake Tahoe.


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