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EPA removes sunken, oil-leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

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EPA removes sunken, oil-leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. recovers a sunk boat , Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, of the shore of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The boat sunk in January and had been leaking oil. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency hired the contractor to raise the abandoned 40-foot recreational vessel in coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.




SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. (AP) — A crew for a private contractor hired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency removed an abandoned boat from Lake Tahoe Tuesday that sank off the lake’s south shore in January and was believed to be leaking oil.

The 40-foot (12 meters) recreational vessel was first reported Jan. 15 to have sunk in about 15 feet (4.5 meters) of water about 300 yards (274 meters) offshore from Pope Beach in South Lake Tahoe, the EPA said.

The agency planned to spend about $20,000 on the effort in conjunction with the El Dorado County Sheriff, the Lahontan Regional Water Quality Control Board, Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response.

Repeated efforts by multiple agencies to identify and contact the owner of the vessel had been unsuccessful, EPA spokeswoman Margot Perez Sullivan said.

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. began the recovery effort at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, she said in an email to The Associated Press.

The recovery crew battled steady winds and about foot-tall waves crashing onto Pope Beach before the recovery was completed Tuesday afternoon, the Tahoe Daily Tribune reported.

Jeff Cowen, spokesman for the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency, told the Reno Gazette-Journal the boat will be taken to the U.S. Coast Guard’s facility in Tahoe City, where law enforcement will oversee the boat’s disposal or auction.



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