EPA Signs Landmark Marine Engine, Boat Evaporative Emission Rule
CHICAGO — This spring, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) signed a proposed rule that, once finalized, will result in the largest regulatory action in the history of the recreational marine industry.
The EPA rule, titled “Control of Emissions from Non-road Spark Ignition Engines and Equipment,” impacts boatbuilders, gasoline-engine manufacturers (both outboard and inboard/sterndrive), and manufacturers of marine generators. The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is encouraging its members to submit comments to EPA on its proposal by the Aug. 3 deadline.
The effects of EPA’s latest proposal are two-fold, requiring spark-ignited (gas) marine engine manufacturers to meet new emission standards beginning in 2009 and boatbuilders to reduce evaporative emissions from boat fuel systems.
Under the proposal, outboard and PWC engines will have to be certified to the same stringent exhaust emission standards as will be required by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) in 2008. For sterndrive and inboard engines, the EPA rule proposes catalyst-based exhaust emission standards apply beginning in 2009.
Boatbuilders will be required to change their fuel systems with requirements for fuel hose, plastic fuel tanks, and controlling emissions from the fuel tank vent.
“This is by far the most comprehensive rulemaking ever imposed on the recreational marine industry,” says Thom Dammrich, NMMA president. “It’s not just an engine rule; this proposal directly affects boatbuilders as well as engine manufacturers and will change the way builders design a boat’s fuel system.
“The entire industry needs to be aware of this ruling and prepare to meet all necessary requirements under the new EPA guidelines.”
This rulemaking culminates nearly a decade of NMMA and industry-wide efforts to work with EPA on several data-collection projects related specifically to evaporative emissions and engine emissions, including The Carbon Canister Diurnal Emission Evaluation; Fuel, Fill and Vent Hose Permeation Emission Test Program; Off-cycle Emission Data Collection Project, and the Fresh and Salt Water Catalyst Test program, funded by EPA, the U.S. Coast Guard and CARB.
“It is very rewarding to be part of an industry that works so closely with government agencies like EPA and the U.S. Coast Guard to create these regulations, which provide cleaner air, improved fuel economy, and allow for the creation and development of new products for our customers,” says Chuck Rowe, NMMA chairman and president of Indmar Products Co. Inc.
A public hearing has been scheduled for June 5 in Reston, Va. Members of the NMMA Evaporative Emission Task Force and the Engine Manufacturers Division (EMD) convened in mid-May to prepare for the hearing. Written comments are due to EPA by August 3
To download a copy of the proposed EPA rule, preamble and Regulatory Impact Analysis, visit http://www.epa.gov/otaq/marinesi.htm. For additional information, contact John McKnight at (202) 737-9757; firstname.lastname@example.org.