PWC Operators Need To Comply With EPA Standards


April 15, 2013

PAGE, Ariz. — A new Personal Watercraft (PWC) regulation went into effect on January 1, which requires PWC operating on Lake Powell to meet 2006 emission standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).

The NPS delayed implementation of this regulation for ten years to minimize impacts to PWC owners and provide time for people to plan for this new requirement. “We are actively reaching out to the boating public about this change and will take the opportunity next summer to continue to educate park visitors on Lake Powell,” said Superintendent Todd Brindle.

In recognition of the need to protect park resources while supporting the recreational interests of visitors, the National Park Service (NPS) signed a Record of Decision on June 27, 2003 allowing PWC use to continue under a special regulation with additional management requirements. One of the requirements, codified in 36 CFR § 7.70(e)(3) states:

After December 31, 2012, no one may operate a PWC that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by EPA for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. A person operating a PWC that meets the EPA 2006 emission standards through the use of direct injection two-stroke or four-stroke engines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition and will be allowed to operate as described in this section.

36 CFR § 3.9(a) allows PWC use only in national park areas where authorized by special regulation. Glen Canyon began a planning effort in 2002 to determine whether PWC was an appropriate use. An Environmental Impact Statement (EIS) was prepared to evaluate whether to allow, restrict or discontinue PWC use.

The EIS examined three management alternatives and included an analysis of how each alternative affected visitor safety, visitor experience, water quality, air quality, soundscapes, wildlife, park resources and park operations.

Several opportunities for public involvement were provided during the planning process, with over 30,000 comments received.

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