Moeller Marine offers tips on fuel-tank regulations

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Moeller Marine is advising boatbuilders to consider the potential risks of not complying with new marine fuel tank regulations.

Non-compliance with Environmental Protection Agency and California state regulations dealing with evaporative emission requirements in marine fuel tanks and fuel systems could put builders at risk — or out of business — by Jan. 1, according to Moeller, a manufacturer of permanent and portable gas tanks for OEM and aftermarket applications.

“The major changes to fuel systems center around reducing the permeability of the fuel tank, eliminating open tank venting and reducing the potential for spillage during refueling,” Moeller director of operations Gary Eich said.

“We believe the requirement is for barrier conversion to be 100 percent complete by Jan. 1, 2012. Further, conversions to diurnal systems need to be finished by July 1, 2012, based on our best available information. If your fuel systems are not compliant, you may not be able to deliver new boats after these dates.”

Converting existing fuel systems requires some time, the company added.

“A tip study must be done, some system design is the norm, and hardware must be selected,” director of product development Earnie Cook said in a statement. “From a tank design perspective, conversion requires the addition of a few ports in the tank for required hardware or the addition of barrier materials.”

The normal cycle for this type of conversion project is four to eight weeks. The steps include design review, obtaining information from the system integrator, drawing preparation and approval, tooling revisions and generating a prototype piece for further review and approval.

“Recent calls to Moeller Marine's OEM support lines show that many recreational boat manufacturers have missed a significant detail about marine fuel tanks,” the company said in a statement. “Specifically, new environmental regulations from EPA and the state of California designed to reduce emissions to the environment are imminent and failure to comply can be catastrophic.”

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