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Clean Marine Engines

Organization(s) Environmental Protection Agency - Region 2
Project Description In conventional two-stroke marine engines, which for many years have powered most outboard engines and personal water craft, as much as 30 percent of the gasoline passing through the combustion chambers is not burned or only partially burned. The result is emissions of dark smoke containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, which contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or smog. Unburned gasoline is also released directly into the water from such engines, contaminating water bodies with such toxic chemicals as benzene, toluene, xylene, and ethylene.

Marine engine manufacturers now make engines that emit 75 percent less air pollution, burn 35 to 50 percent less fuel, use up to 50 percent less oil, and discharge significantly less gasoline directly into the water than conventional engines. Seven years ago, in cooperation with marine engine manufacturers, EPA established emissions standards for new gasoline outboard engines and personal water-craft engines with a goal of reducing hydrocarbon emissions from such engines 75 percent by 2025. EPA has been phasing in increasingly more stringent air emissions requirements for the engines since 1998 and will reach full implementation in 2006.

EPA Region 2 initiated a formal agreement with the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA), the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), and the New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection through which the parties will work to ensure that by 2005 95 percent of the two and four-stroke marine engines sold in the state are low-polluting. On the day the agreement was signed, EPA Region 2 presented certificates of recognition to several New Jersey retailers that have committed to sell the cleaner engines. The Agency expects to sign a similar agreement on Long Island that will include the two national associations, the Empire State Marine Trades Association (ESMTA), the Association of Marine Industries, the New York State Marine Trades Association, and the NYS DEC.

Under these agreements, participating retailers encourage customers to buy low-polluting engines. By 2003, 80 percent or more of the new engines sold will use cleaner technologies; by 2005, that number will rise to 95 percent. Participating retailers will provide ESMTA or MTA/NJ with low-polluting engine sales information, which will then be provided to EPA in aggregate form. NMMA, MRAA, and the two state associations will help their members achieve these goals by providing them with marketing and communications assistance, training, and research. In turn, EPA will develop public education materials to spread the word about cleaner marine engines and will work with state agencies and municipalities to support the use of these engines.

More Info www.epa.gov/Region2/cleanmarine/agreements.htm
Project Contact
Name Tristan Gillespie
Phone (212) 637-3753
Project Keywords
Areas of P2 Expertise Environmentally Preferable Purchasing
Industrial Sectors Marinas
Activity Keywords Policy/Legislative
Newsletter Northeast States Pollution Prevention News - Vol. 13 No. 2, Summer 2003 [PDF]


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Last Modified 09/08/2009

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