Letter — 2-stroke ban doesn’t help lake’s clarity
I feel I must respond to your “Our View” editorial and the first part of the series on TRPA in your paper Aug. 29 — in particular, the comments regarding two-cycle engines.
When TRPA began the investigation of the effects of two-cycle engines on the waters of Lake Tahoe it was clear that it would not be a scientific investigation. Rather, it turned out to be a circus on both sides of the issue. It is PERCEPTION rather than REALITY that has veiled this issue since the inception of the TRPA discussions. As has been determined by every true scientific study of this issue, two-cycle engines DO NOT affect the waters in which they operate. It is simplistic to look at a two-cycle engine operating in a tub and extrapolate results to the environment of any natural body of water.
The loss of clarity of Lake Tahoe is completely due to the influx of nitrates into it and the concomitant growth of algae. Nitrates are NOT a by-product of partial or complete combustion of gasoline, but, as has been pointed out in many articles, rather from runoff from development, especially fertilizers. Incompletely combusted gasoline is removed from ALL natural bodies of water by chemical, biological and natural methods as evidenced by the complete disappearance of these by-products in every study undertaken. The TRPA study of two-cycle engine by-products is akin to studying air quality in a closed garage with an automobile with its engine idling.
I urge anyone interested in a subject such as this to undertake a review of the literature and do some studying to make an informed decision instead of relying on unsupported ideas upon which to make a decision.
The clarity of Lake Tahoe has continued to erode even after the ill-advised ban of two-cycle engines. TRPA needs to realize that having the ability to regulate something does not mean it is right to regulate everything. Vested interests in the Tahoe Basin are all too eager to see TRPA run rampant over the little issues. It is only a matter of time until these vested interests get their feet stepped on by TRPA unless something is done to control this unaccountable group.
South Lake Tahoe