New EPA Emission Regs for 2010 SD/OB Engines - 09/10/2008
Last week's EPA announcement said that, "Each year, Americans spend more than 3 billion hours using lawn and garden equipment and more than 500 million hours in recreational boating.
"When fully implemented, the rule will yield annual emission reductions of 600,000 tons of hydrocarbons, 130,000 tons of nitrogen oxide (NOx), 5,500 tons of direct particulate matter, and 1.5 million tons of carbon monoxide (CO)."
Health Risk of Boating Emissions
The EPA press release continues, "As a result, the total estimated public health benefits range between $1.6 and $4.4 billion by 2030. These benefits outweigh estimated costs by at least eight to one, while preventing over 300 premature deaths, 1,700 hospitalizations, and 23,000 lost workdays annually."
The EPA release does not explain how these numbers materialized, but we assume they are an extrapolation from macro data that involved emissions from cars, electricity generation, industry and all other sources. Obviously if there were only boats and weed whackers causing the emissions no one would be dying or going to the hospital as a result of fouled air.
U.S. Fuel Savings could equal 1/10th of 1%
The release went on to say, "EPA expects the new standards to save approximately 190 million gallons of gasoline each year." This is about 1/2-day supply for the U.S. according to the Dept. of Energy.
The EPA also said, "This regulation also includes the first national standards for boats powered by stern drive or inboard engines, and carbon monoxide standards for gasoline-powered engines used in recreational watercraft. Recreational watercraft powered by gasoline engines will incur a 70 percent reduction in HC and NOx emissions, a 20 percent reduction in CO and a 70 percent reduction in fuel evaporative emissions."
A very positive result of these new standards should be the reduction in boaters' deaths due to CO poisoning. Over 60 deaths have been proved to have been caused by CO from both marine gas engines and generators over the last five years. When this law takes effect, the non-CO safe gas generators made by Onan and Westerbeke will be virtually the only high-CO producing engines in boats.
How much will 2010 stern drive and inboard engines cost?
Yes. For now. Old automobiles are still legally on the road without the new EPA mandated
technology and we suspect will be for some time. Whether or not the EPA will allow
boats to follow the automobile precedent remains to be seen, but we think it is
a safe assumption.
As yet we have not heard of impending standards world-wide. But if the French and Italians can start banning smoking in restaurants and bars anything is possible -- in Europe, Japan, Australia and New Zealand. We're not so hopeful for the developing world.
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