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NMMA thinks builders can meet new EPA standards

The National Marine Manufacturers Association says that, because of the lead time for compliance, engine manufacturers and boatbuilders should have no problem meeting the new emissions standards for gasoline boat engines and fuel systems that were issued last Thursday by the Environmental Protection Agency.

“Mercury Marine and Brunswick Boat Group have been working with the EPA on these regulations for five years,” Shannon Marone, internal communications manager for Mercury Marine, told Soundings Trade Only this morning.

The new regulations require manufacturers of gasoline outboard, personal watercraft, and sterndrive and inboard engines to meet emissions standards similar to the California Air Resource Board standards. This will also be the first time gasoline marine engines will be required to meet a carbon monoxide standard. For boatbuilders, the new regulations require fuel systems to meet both permeation and diurnal emission reductions.

“Mercury anticipated this ruling and has already made its products compliant with CARB regulations, so we don’t anticipate any new product changes for this particular ruling,” said Marone.

Mercury’s carbureted 2-strokes will be completely out of the U.S. market by 2010, and its direct-injected 2-stroke engines aren’t affected by the new standards, Marone said. She said the new regulations will require Mercury to begin selling the catalytic converter-equipped sterndrives and inboards that the company currently sells in California nationwide in 2010.

“NMMA, Grady-White Boats and countless other affected businesses worked tirelessly with the EPA for many years on this set of rules,” said Jim Hardin, compliance manager for Grady-White Boats. “The result is a true win-win situation. The rule allows us the flexibility we need to implement the required changes while helping the EPA meet their goal of reducing emissions. Reduced emissions will help keep our water and air clean, which is very important to both us and our customers.”

The National Marine Manufacturers Association will offer training sessions and compliance information on the new emissions standards.

The first training session, Boat Fuel Systems Design and Compliance, will he held from 8:30 to 10 a.m. Oct. 7 at the International BoatBuilders’ Exhibition & Conference in Miami. Representatives from the American Boat & Yacht Council, NMMA and EPA will provide manufacturers will the tools needed to plan for the changes needed to meet both EPA and ABYC requirements.

Following IBEX, NMMA will develop a series of Evaporative Emission seminars in key boatbuilding states, similar to sessions conducted following the implementation of the Maximum Achievable Control Technology standard.

Click here to see the complete release from the NMMA.

For information on the new EPA emissions standards, contact NMMA director of environmental and safety compliance John McKnight at (202) 737-9757, or e-mail

— Melanie Winters


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