CHICAGO – National Marine Manufacturers Association Vice President Monita Fontaine was interviewed by CBS’s The Early Show for a story that aired this morning about the carbon monoxide emissions from boats.
Though the story focused on the dangers of carbon monoxide, Fontaine emphasized the great strides the recreational boating industry has made in developing new technologies to reduce hydrogen and carbon emissions from boat engines, and reviewed the industry’s efforts to educate consumers about the dangers presented by carbon monoxide, according to NMMA.
“We have our best engineers working on trying to develop a marine catalyst like the automobile industry did to solve its carbon monoxide concerns,” Fontaine said in the CBS story.
“As the recreational boating community became aware of the carbon monoxide (CO) issue, it began working with government agencies and other groups such as the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG), National Institute of Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), the American Boat & Yacht Council (ABYC) and the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators (NASBLA) to educate the public on the safe use of their boats; enforce the laws banning unsafe activities and to assign the best engineering minds in the boating industry to study how we might lower CO emissions,” NMMA pointed out.
The association also stated that “last November, Congressman Scott McInnis inserted language in the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2003 formally recognizing and commending the collaborative efforts of marine manufacturers, the Coast Guard and ABYC to address the health risks associated with CO in and around boats.”
Fontaine’s carbon monoxide message points
– The NMMA makes available to manufacturers of all new boats a brochure warning of the dangers of carbon monoxide poisoning. To date, half a million brochures have been distributed.
– The industry has launched an aggressive public awareness campaign at marinas nationwide distributing thousands of posters warning specifically about the dangers of CO.
- In California, the NMMA supports AB2222, which would ban "teak surfing" and would require CO awareness training in all boating safety programs in the state. The NMMA also instigated efforts to have the National Association of State Boating Law Administrators adopt model legislation to ban teak surfing nationwide.
- Many NMMA boat manufacturers already affix warning labels on the boats they sell. NMMA has endorsed certification standards for its members which include placing CO warning labels on all new boats, as applicable.
- The marine industry has developed new marine engine technology that significantly reduces emissions of both hydrocarbon and oxides of nitrogen.
- Marine manufacturers have developed new technology to reduce carbon monoxide emissions to a new level.
- At last year’s Miami Boat Show, Westerbeke Corp. introduced a new series of gas-powered generators that reduce CO emissions by more than 99 percent.
- A marine engine test program is currently underway at Southwest Research Institute to test the feasibility and durability of close coupled marine catalyst. With the proper calibration, catalyst technology will reduce emissions of carbon monoxide to extremely low levels. If feasible, boaters will begin seeing stern drive and inboard boats with catalysts in 2008.