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Air quality conditions in the Lake Tahoe Basin affect human health, visibility, forest health, and water quality for the Basin’s various lakes including the famed clarity of Lake Tahoe. The primary factors known to influence the basin’s air quality are motor vehicle emissions, wood smoke, road and other sources of dust, topography and climate, and pollutants transported from sources outside the Lake Tahoe Basin. In general, the Lake Tahoe Basin’s air quality has improved over the past 20 years. However, the Lake Tahoe Basin remains out-of-attainment with some of the state and local air quality standards.
Air quality in the Lake Tahoe Basin is affected by both mobile and stationary sources of air pollution from within and outside the Basin.
issues are important in the Basin because of down slope drainage winds and inversions that hold air pollution close to the surface of the land and lake. These unique conditions require some air quality standards in the Basin to be stricter than state or federal regulations.