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NEWS BRIEF: EPA raises vessel sunken in January to protect Lake Tahoe

02/23/2021
Contact Information: 
Margot Perez-Sullivan (perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov)
415-947-4149

SAN FRANCISCO – Today, weather permitting, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) will raise a vessel first reported sunk in Lake Tahoe on January 15. EPA, in coordination with the El Dorado County Sheriff, the Lahontan  Regional Water Quality Control Board, the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency and the California Department of Fish and Wildlife Office of Spill Prevention and Response is taking action to raise the vessel after a February 15 report indicating the vessel had begun leaking oil. 

EPA will spend approximately $20,000 to remove the vessel and associated debris from the lake and has hired High Sierra Marine Inc. to perform the work. The vessel in question, believed to be an abandoned 40-foot recreational boat, sank approximately 300 yards offshore from Pope Beach Road in South Lake Tahoe, Calif. Repeated efforts by multiple agencies to identify and contact the owner of the vessel have been unsuccessful. 

The action is being taken under EPA’s emergency response authority. The agency’s emergency response program responds to oil spills; chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear incidents; and large-scale national emergencies, including homeland security incidents. In all such incidents, EPA coordinates closely with state and local agencies.

The vessel raising is scheduled to take place at 9:00 am. Interested reporters should contact EPA for additional details and visual media opportunities. Unfortunately, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, EPA officials will not be able to give in-person interviews but will be available by phone. Please contact Margot Perez-Sullivan at perezsullivan.margot@epa.gov or 415-412-1115.

For more information on the EPA’s emergency response work, please visit: https://www.epa.gov/emergency-response

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