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Just like any new year, 2013 will bring with it a host of new laws for residents in the valley and throughout Nevada. One group of laws will directly affect recreation-seeking residents and tourists who like to visit Lake Mead.

Starting on January 1, the National Park Service will outlaw certain types of personal watercraft on the lake. Any type of personal watercraft that does not meet the 2006 Environmental Protection Agency emission standards will not be allowed to operate on Lake Mead.

This ban applies to personal watercraft manufactured before 2006 that have carbureted two-stroke motors. These vessels tend to discharge anywhere from 25% to 30% of their fuel directly into the water – which is a problem, considering that the reservoir supplies the valley with about 90% of its drinking water.

If you own a personal watercraft with a direct injection two-stroke or four-stroke engine (like that which is found on all newer models), then you will still be allowed to use it at Lake Mead. Ironically, if you have a boat that is powered by a carbureted two-stroke engine, the EPA ban does not cover your vessel – so you can still motor around on the lake in it (at least for now).

Of course, operators of personal watercraft are always urged to use these machines safely and wisely. If you are injured by a personal watercraft due to the recklessness and/or negligence of someone else, be sure to contact a qualified personal injury attorney as soon as you can.