MONTPELIER, Vt. --Personal watercraft will continue to be allowed on Echo Lake in the Northeast Kingdom town of Charleston.

A group of residents on the 550-acre lake sought the ban, arguing that personal watercraft are too noisy and fast, posing a danger to swimmers and to loons nesting on the lake for the first time in memory.

The panel didn't buy the arguments.

"The panel clearly didn't see a big conflict," said Patricia Moulton Powden, chairwoman of the Water Resources Panel. Evidence from a public hearing and written comments indicated few personal watercraft are used on the relatively small Charleston lake, she said.
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