Bill would increase enforcement of 2-stroke ban |

Bill would increase enforcement of 2-stroke ban

Andy Bourelle

While the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency would appreciate help enforcing its motorized watercraft ban this summer, officials from the bistate regulatory agency think a bill before the Nevada Legislature may be going a little too far.

The Senate Finance Committee introduced Senate Bill 510 last week, which would make it mandatory for game wardens, sheriff’s deputies and other peace officers to enforce the ban.

“This was not our proposal. We would appreciate the help, but we don’t think it should be a mandatory thing at this time,” said Pam Drum, TRPA public affairs coordinator. “We would like to see them have the option or ability, but be able to use their own discretion.”

The ban of watercraft powered by two-stroke engines on Lake Tahoe goes into effect June 1. The ordinance contains a number of exemptions that will be phased out over time, including certain fuel-injected motors, sailboat auxiliary engines and engines that meet federal air-quality rules.

TRPA officials and the groups suing the agency over the ban reached an agreement Wednesday that will dismiss the lawsuit. Part of the agreement will require that the suit’s plaintiffs help TRPA in enforcement. The National Marine Manufacturers Association is providing two engines to TRPA, to install on a boat TRPA will provide.

That is expected to double the agency’s enforcement effort on Lake Tahoe. Even with no help from SB 510, TRPA will have at least six people and two boats enforcing the ban.

TRPA officials have indicated that, in the ban’s first season, the agency’s enforcement will focus on issuing warnings and educating people.

Brochures and signs will provide information at marinas, and information likely will be available through boating organizations and boat registration in both Nevada and California.

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