In-water tests set for catalytic converters

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the California Air Resources Board have agreed to fund in-boat / in-water tests to determine the safety and performance of catalytic converters on marine stern drive inboard engines in saltwater environments, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a recent release.

The testing is scheduled to take place over the summer. At the invitation of EPA, NMMA members will play an active role in determining how the tests are conducted, including which boats and motors are used.

CARB was attempting to issue rules requiring catalytic converters on all stern drive inboard engines without testing the durability of the converters when in contact with saltwater.

“Because the National Marine Manufacturers Association members who produce stern drive inboards are primarily small, family-owned companies and lack the resources to perform the tests themselves, these companies would have been extremely burdened in their efforts to comply with the proposed rules,” said NMMA director of Environment and Safety Compliance John McKnight.

NMMA applied pressure to CARB and EPA through strategic lobbying and education of Congress, the Coast Guard and the EPA in order to require saltwater testing before issuing any rules that would have been expensive for engine manufacturers to comply with and secure funding for those tests. The tests will supply engine manufacturers with the data necessary to build durable catalytic converters for their marine engines.

“NMMA and its members presented their strong case for the need for saltwater testing before regulation to members of Congress and regulators,” said NMMA vice president of government relations Monita Fontaine. “This is a classic example of how well-informed lobbying of officials makes a difference to the bottom lines of marine manufacturers and the safety of the boating public.”

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