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Tahoe Lawmakers Ponder Boat Motor Restrictions

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Smaller engines on recreational vehicles used at Lake Tahoe may be in for a break from stricter regulations aimed at easing pollution at the lake.

Washoe County Commissioner Jim Galloway, who sits on the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency governing board, says he will ask his colleagues Wednesday to consider relaxing restrictions on outboard motors of ten horsepower or less and auxiliary sailboat motors with 25 horsepower or less.

Those engines originally were exempted from TRPA´s 1999 ban on larger carbureted two-stroke engines powering most personal watercraft, as well as many outboard motorboats. The special status for the smaller engines expired last October.

While other regulators disagree, Galloway says he is not convinced the smaller engines contribute significantly to the pollution of Tahoe´s waters.