The following information is an advance copy (draft in final stage) supplied to the LPYC by the National Park Service. It is to be released to the public in early 2012.

Talking Points for 2-Stroke Vessels at Glen Canyon

National Recreation Area

November, 2011


  • 36 CFR §7.70 (e)(3) -  After December 31, 2012, no one may operate a personal watercraft  (PWC) that does not meet the 2006 emission standards set by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) for the manufacturing of two-stroke engines. A person operating a personal watercraft that meets the EPA 2006 emission standards through the use of direct-injection two-stroke or four-stroke engines, or the equivalent thereof, is not subject to this prohibition and will be allowed to operate as described in this section.


Why was this rule instituted?

  • This rule was instituted to keep the lake and national recreation area clean. Lake Powell sees nearly two million visitors a year. Most of them spend time recreating on the lake. Carburetor two-stroke engines have been shown to discharge as much as 30% of their fuel directly into lake waters. These emissions have the potential to harm water quality, people’s health, and aquatic organisms.
  • There is a ten year phase-in of this PWC rule at Glen Canyon National Recreation Area (Glen Canyon). The rule was announced in 2003. Enforcement will begin on January 1, 2013.
  • If you do not know whether your vessel meets the 2006 EPA emission standards for two-stroke engines, please contact your manufacturer or mechanic.

Does this rule apply to all boats?

  • No. This rule only applies to PWCs.

Can I modify my engine?

  • PWC owners have expressed an interest in modifying existing PWC engines to meet 2006 EPA emissions standards. The intent of the rule is to remove highly polluting engines from the water. If PWC owners are willing to invest in this cost, this would meet the intent of the rule. Because of the expense we anticipate a very small number of PWC owners to take this action.

I have an oil injected two stroke. Is that the same as a direct injection two stroke?

  • No. Oil injected two-strokes are still carbureted and require a fuel-oil mixture to enter the combustion chamber. Direct injection two strokes are not carbureted and fuel and oil are not mixed. These two terms are often incorrectly used interchangeably.

How will rangers determine if my engine isn’t compliant?

  • Rangers will take into account the model of the vessel, the engine type, and whether it’s carbureted in determining if a vessel should be removed from the lake.

What will happen if I bring my carbureted two-stroke PWC to the lake after Dec. 31, 2012?

  • Rangers utilize a wide variety of enforcement strategies in order to gain compliance and to ensure park waters remain clean for visitors and aquatic organisms.  PWCs that are not in compliance will have their voyages immediately terminated, including removal of the watercraft from park waters.  In addition, operators may be cited under 36 CFR 7.70(e)(3) for violation of the regulation.

Where else can I use my PWC if I can’t use it on Lake Powell?

  • Not on Lakes Mead or Mohave. The same rule will go into effect for Lake Mead National Recreation Area.
  • Two-stroke PWCs are, as of 2011, still permitted in areas such as the Colorado River south of Davis Dam and other recreation areas managed by other federal, state and local agencies.

What is a Personal Watercraft?

  • 36 CFR §1.4 - Personal watercraft refers to a vessel, usually less than 16 feet in length, which uses an inboard, internal combustion engine powering a water jet pump as its primary source of propulsion. The vessel is intended to be operated by a person or persons sitting, standing or kneeling on the vessel, rather than within the confines of the hull. The length is measured from end to end over the deck excluding sheer, meaning a straight line measurement of the overall length from the foremost part of the vessel to the aftermost part of the vessel, measured parallel to the centerline. Bow sprits, bumpkins, rudders, outboard motor brackets, and similar fittings or attachments, are not included in the measurement. Length is stated in feet and inches.


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