TRPA’s watercraft ban will include summer of education, enforcement |

TRPA’s watercraft ban will include summer of education, enforcement

by Andy Bourelle

The Tahoe Regional Planning Agency plans to have a two-fold approach to ensure Lake Tahoe boaters comply with its new regulations this summer: public education and enforcement on the water.

To do that, the bistate regulatory agency is looking to Nevada and California for help.

“Basically, we’re requesting funding from California and Nevada to help with this. We don’t have the staff now to do it, and we don’t have the money,” said Steve Chilton, chief of TRPA’s environmental compliance division. “But it looks like we’re going to get (the funding).”

TRPA is asking for about $150,000 from the states, about half of which would help pay for the education part of the plan. The other half would allow TRPA to pay about six seasonal employees to patrol boat ramps and the lake itself, using a boat owned by the agency.

Chilton said brochures and signs will provide information at marinas, and information likely will be available through boating organizations and boat registration in both states.

The ban on certain types of two-stroke engines goes into effect in June. In the first season, Chilton said, TRPA’s enforcement on the lake would be a “very passive means of informing the public.”

“Basically, we’ll be providing an educational forum for folks to learn about the regulation and why it’s here, which (engines) are OK and which ones aren’t,” Chilton said. “We will probably be issuing a lot of warnings initially. We plan to get into a citation process if we have to.”

TRPA’s board of governors this week will be looking at making more amendments to the ordinance, and TRPA Public Affairs Coordinator Pam Drum said the agency will do its best to provide the specifics of the regulation to the public soon.

“Obviously, we have a lot of work ahead of us,” she said. “We know what the board did in January, and we will start to get the word out about the February action within minutes of the vote.”

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