Deputies may help enforce new TRPA rules |

Deputies may help enforce new TRPA rules

Sheriff’s deputies from the Nevada counties that border Lake Tahoe may be keeping tabs on illegal watercraft in addition to their other duties this summer.

Under Senate Bill 510, discussed recently by the Senate Natural Resources Committee, some Tahoe Regional Planning Agency ordinances would be adopted into state law and state peace officers could enforce them.

The bill is aimed at enforcing new TRPA rules on watercraft engines that take effect this year. State Administration Department Director Perry Comeaux, who sought the bill on behalf of the TRPA, said TRPA needs all the help it can get educating the public about what’s allowed and what’s not under the new rules.

Deputizing Nevada peace officers to do it will help cut bureaucracy, because TRPA originally considered hiring its own fleet of officers to enforce the new rules, said Comeaux.

Officers from the state’s parks and wildlife divisions also will be able to enforce the rules, but the county deputies are crucial because they actually patrol Lake Tahoe during the summer.

The officers would be able to give verbal warnings or citations.

SB 510 doesn’t require the counties to enforce the new rules, a provision welcomed by representatives of Douglas and Washoe counties.

Douglas County Sheriff Ron Pierini said he’s concerned about training the deputies to identify the acceptable watercraft, and suggested issuing stickers that would make them easily recognizable.

TRPA representative Pam Drum said the agency will make lists of acceptable watercraft available to all enforcement agencies, and deputies will be able to attend planned training sessions for identifying compliant watercraft engines.

If it’s approved, SB 510 would take effect July 1. No action was taken on the bill, but it was scheduled for future discussion.

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