New CARB emission regs to take effect in 2008

CHICAGO – Beginning January 1, 2008, the State of California will introduce a new, more stringent set of exhaust emission regulations for sterndrive and inboard (SD/I) gasoline marine engines, the National Marine Manufacturers Association reported in a recent statement.

Unlike outboard and PWC regulations introduced in recent years, the burden of compliance with these regulations will be shared between boat builders, engine manufacturers and boat and engine retailers, NMMA stated.

“… it’s critical each party understand its role and know the required steps in order to comply with the ruling,” said John McKnight, NMMA director of Environmental Safety and Compliance. “Each year, the CARB [California Air Resources Board] Enforcement Division issues violations and financial penalties against small engine equipment dealers, automobile dealers and boat dealers selling non-compliant engines.”

Under the new California regulations, the state will require all boats outfitted with gasoline SD/I engines manufactured after January 1, 2008 be equipped with catalyst technology. There are only a few exceptions to this rule; 4.3 liter and 8.1 liter engines manufactured by General Motors (GM will stop producing these models after 2009) and some phased-in Indmar engines (the company began its phase-in program this year) will still have an opportunity to sell these engines un-catalyzed. Engine manufacturers are also required to certify their engines meet the appropriate model year emission standards with CARB, according to NMMA.

Another regulation recently adopted by the State of California, which took effect January 1, 2007, requires boatbuilders (with the exception of those using Indmar engines) to install a low permeation fuel hose between the fuel tank and the engine on boats with engines built after the first of the year. The hose must be marked A1-15. Both the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) fuel systems standard and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1527 fuel hose test methods have been updated to reflect these changes.

California stipulates engine manufacturers must inform boatbuilders when low permeation hose installation is necessary. It then becomes the boatbuilders’ responsibility to install the hose and the dealership’s responsibility to ensure all boats sold in California with SD/I engines built after January 1, 2007 have low permeation fuel hoses attached. Marine retailers may, however, continue selling boats with engines manufactured prior to January 1, 2008, as the CARB regulations do not impose a sales date deadline for regulated SD/I engines.

To read the latest NMMA White Paper on the CARB requirements, visit http://www.nmma.org/lib/docs/nmma/gr/environmental/CARB_Article.doc. For additional information about CARB emission regulations, contact McKnight at (202) 737-9757; jmcknight@nmma.org.

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