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EPA removing sunken, leaking boat from Lake Tahoe

Bill Rozak/The Tahoe Tribune via AP

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. recovers a sunk boat, Tuesday, Feb. 23, 2021, off the shore of South Lake Tahoe, Calif. The boat sunk in January and had been leaking oil.

SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — A crew for a private contractor hired by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency began removing an abandoned boat from Lake Tahoe on Tuesday that sank off the lake’s south shore in January and had been 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.

A crew for High Sierra Marine Inc. began the recovery effort at about 9 a.m. Tuesday, EPA spokeswoman Margot Perez Sullivan said.

Repeated efforts by multiple agencies to identify and contact the owner of the vessel had been unsuccessful, she said.

The Tahoe Daily Tribune reported the U.S. Coast Guard examined the boat when it first was reported sunk and found no pollution leaking into the lake. But the EPA said it received a report on Feb. 15 indicating the vessel had started leaking oil.



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