Posted on 08 February 2012 by Keith Lacey
An Osoyoos man has urged town council to implement a plan over the next three to five years that would ban or strictly prohibit large, polluting engines on Osoyoos Lake.
David Yanor, who moved to Osoyoos seven years ago, made a special presentation to town council Monday morning, citing extensive data he’s compiled which clearly shows gas-powered engines on power boats are one of the largest contributors of water, air and noise pollution on any lake.
“You have the power to make this town something special” by implementing a long-term plan for Osoyoos Lake that would encourage more watercraft that don’t use engines and put in place policies to discourage and eventually ban or severely limit the use of watercraft propelled by large, powerful engines, said Yanor, who owns an 18-foot sailboat, which is powered by a four-horsepower motor when necessary.
One study he researched to present to council indicates the amount of pollution caused by one two-stroke, gas-powered engine from a watercraft causes more air and water pollution than 50 motor vehicles and another study indicated the amount of water and air pollution caused by watercrafts in the United States is larger than that caused by all cars, trucks and buses, said Yanor.
“There is insidious damage being caused to this lake by the continual use of gas-powered engines can be stopped,” he said. “They cause significant water and air pollution and with the bigger boats and motors, noise pollution as well.”
Yanor urged town councillors to install policies which would clearly make this community and Osoyoos Lake “the centre of green thinking and green municipal policy.”
Current policies which charge the same docking fees for a sailboat and huge powerboat don’t make any sense and should be changed and powerboats that use four-stroke engines rather than two-stroke engines that cause 50 per cent more pollution, should be given a 50 per cent deduction as well, said Yanor.
“Obviously a sailboat causes far less damage than a twin-150-horsepower motor,” he said. “But they’re still being charged the same … that doesn’t make any sense to me.”
If council were to hold a referendum with the citizens of Osoyoos to ban large powerboat engines on the lake, Yanor said “there’ s no doubt it would be overwhelmingly supported.”
Osoyoos Lake is the crown jewel of this community and community leaders have an opportunity to leave a lasting legacy by adopting policies that discourage and perhaps ban large, powerful engines from being used, Yanor said.
“Can we ignore the enormous damage that is being done to this last as time goes on?” he asked rhetorically. “This council can leave a lasting legacy for years for residents and visitors.”
Mayor Stu Wells said he “completely agrees” with the damage being caused by boats powered by two-stroke engines as many communities in and around Los Angeles have banned gas lawnmowers because of the tremendous amount of pollution they cause.
Coun. Mike Plante said the town’s lake sustainability task force has discussed some of the issues presented by Yanor and the task force is trying to identify long-term solutions to determine how Osoyoos Lake can best be used to serve the needs of all users.
Plante thanked Yanor for making his detailed presentation and ensured him this issue and his ideas will be discussed in the future by members of council as well as the task force.
Wells also thanked Yanor for his passionate and informative presentation and assured him many of the issues he has brought forward will be discussed and debated by council moving forward as it’s in the best interests of everyone to ensure Osoyoos Lake remains a clean, healthy and vibrant body of water for generations to come.