TRPA lawsuit may be moot |

TRPA lawsuit may be moot

Andy Bourelle

A lawsuit against the Tahoe Regional Planning Association concerning Jet Ski emissions has been put on hold.

According to TRPA Public Affairs Coordinator Pam Drum, the judge in the case ruled to stay the proceedings until Dec. 18.

The lawsuit was filed October 1997, and TRPA announced recently that its ban on two-stroke engines – effective June 1, 1999 – would be replaced in December with an ordinance following the California Resources Board’s new emission regulations.

“We felt it wasn’t a wise, expedient use of public resources to continue litigation on an ordinance we intend to change,” Drum said.

A motion to dismiss the case still will be heard on Aug. 28, and a tentative May 17, 1999, trial date still is scheduled.

Drum said the ruling was the result of a status conference and it was a mutual decision by both sides.

The plaintiffs in the case include the National Marine Manufacturers Association, the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, the Lake Tahoe Watercraft Recreation Association and several other watercraft rental firms and residents.

The suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Sacramento, claims TRPA’s phaseout of two-stroke engines by 1999 is unfounded and unfairly singles out engines. The ordinance TRPA staff intends to propose to the board of governors in December will focus on emission standards rather than specific engine types. Officials have said a regulation on emissions will be easier to support scientifically as well as be easier to enforce.

A litigation conference has been scheduled for Dec. 18, according to Drum.

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