The U.S. Forest Service has been cited for water quality violations in logging and other work near Lake Tahoe.
Several violations caused significant erosion into Lake Tahoe streams, according to the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, which issued the notices. Erosion is a key cause of declining clarity in the alpine lake.
The Forest Service disputes some of the findings. Any projects at Tahoe that disturb the soil are required to maintain erosion-control devices and to stop work at project sites by Oct. 15. They're also required to ensure erosion-control measures are in place when a storm is forecast.
Those things allegedly didn't happen in the five projects that received violation notices, issued between Oct. 19 and 26 after inspections by water board staff.
The most serious violation claimed by the water board involves a project to remove "hazard trees" burned in the 2007 Angora fire in South Lake Tahoe. Inspectors visited the project site Oct. 13 and 14 during a storm, and said they found heavy erosion from logging areas into Angora Creek, a tributary of Lake Tahoe. They said they found little effort to prevent erosion.
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