NMMA to test EPA proposals

CHICAGO - The National Marine Manufacturers Executive Committee has approved funding for a series of tests on a proposed rule that would require gasoline stern drive, inboards, outboards and PWC to harmonize with California engine emission standards, NMMA reported in a recent release.

The tests will help NMMA determine the feasibility and necessity of evaporative emission requirement proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency. For recreational boats, EPA will propose evaporative emission requirements for boat fuel systems; specifically permeation emissions through plastic fuel tanks and hoses and emissions through the fuel tank vent.

EPA has finalized requirements in other non-road categories for all hoses to meet a 15 g/m2 standard and EPA has informed NMMA that it plans to propose the same requirements for boat builders.

The first test will compare permeation emissions from boat fuel and fill hoses that contain both fuel and vapor. This test is designed to determine if there are fewer emissions from hoses with fuel vapor only.

“If the test, which will be conducted in a laboratory setting designed to replicate actual boat conditions, shows this to be the case, there may be an opportunity to have either a lesser requirement, a requirement that allows for averaging, or no requirement for boat vent and fill hoses,” said NMMA director of Environmental Compliance John McKnight. “Such an outcome would result in substantial savings to boat builders while still achieving EPA's stringent evaporative emission goals.”

The second test will be a feasibility and durability test of carbon canister technology on boats.

Tiara Yachts, Four Winns, Cobia/Century Boats and Grady White Boats have agreed to supply test boats, which will operate using carbon canisters for one year.

NMMA anticipates having the fuel hose data within the coming months. The carbon canister feasibility and durability tests will take one year.

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