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Redding Contractor Under Investigation for Environmental Damage

A Facebook video showing road crews pushing a boulder off the side of a hill near Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe has sparked an investigation into Redding-based Stewart Engineering.

Posted: Jun 21, 2018 5:51 PM
Updated: Jun 21, 2018 6:37 PM

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. - A Redding-based contractor is under investigation after a Facebook video surfaced showing road crews pushing a boulder off the side of a hill near Emerald Bay in South Lake Tahoe.

In the video, you can see crews from Redding-based Stewart Engineering cheering and laughing as the boulder tumbles down the side of State Route 89 and causes damage to the mountain slope and trees below.

A representative for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency (TRPA) says they're also investigating Stewart Engineering for improper disposal of rocks and asphalt related to the $4 million road project.

“We're investigating the site for potential permit and code violations and those can face civil penalties of up to $5,000 a day," TRPA representative Tom Lotshaw said. "We're also working with Cal Trans and with California State Parks to fully assess the damage and the impacts and to come up with a restoration plan.”

Action News Now stopped by Stewart Engineering to ask if the actions shown in the video were part of the work they were hired to do, but a representative said it was unintentional then proceeded to say, "no comment."

Lotshaw says crews also failed to initially implement anti-erosion measures as specified in permits, but later complied after TRPA threatened to shut down the project.

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We're getting hotter as we head into the middle of this week, and the potential for thunderstorms will prompt a Fire Weather Watch in the Sierra on Thursday. Hot & dry conditions continue through your weekend.
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