New PWC Regulation in Effect January 2013

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Date: November 23, 2012

A new Personal Watercraft (PWC) regulation will go into effect on January 1, 2013 which requires PWC operating on Lake Powell to meet 2006emission standards established by the Environmental Protection Agency(EPA).

The NPS delayed implementation of this regulation for ten years to minimizeimpacts to PWC owners and provide time for people to plan for this newrequirement. "We are actively reaching out to the boating public aboutthis change and will take the opportunity next summer to continue toeducate park visitors on Lake Powell," said Superintendent Todd Brindle.

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

After December 31, 2012, no one may operate a PWC that does not meet the2006 emission standards set by EPA for the manufacturing of two-strokeengines. A person operating a PWC that meets the EPA 2006 emissionstandards through the use of direct injection two-stroke or four-strokeengines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition andwill be allowed to operate as described in this section.

36 CFR § 3.9(a) allows PWC use only in national park areas where authorizedby special regulation. Glen Canyon began a planning effort in 2002 todetermine whether PWC was an appropriate use.  An Environmental ImpactStatement (EIS) was prepared to evaluate whether to allow, restrict ordiscontinue PWC use.  The EIS examined three management alternatives andincluded an analysis of how each alternative affected visitor safety,visitor experience, water quality, air quality, soundscapes, wildlife, parkresources and park operations.  Several opportunities for publicinvolvement were provided during the planning process, with over 30,000comments received.

Additional information is available at

Last updated: February 24, 2015

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