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PA EPA, INDUSTRY SIGN PLAN TO REDUCE EMISS. FROM LAWN EQUIP.

Release Date: 01/10/97
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PA EPA, INDUSTRY SIGN PLAN TO REDUCE EMISS. FROM LAWN EQUIP.

FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JANUARY 10, 1997

EPA, INDUSTRY SIGN PLAN TO REDUCE EMISSIONS FROM RESIDENTIAL AND COMMERCIAL LAWN EQUIPMENT

Pledging to reduce air pollution through technology improvements, EPA and manufacturers representing over 90 percent of the industry that make millions of engines used in lawn and garden equipment such as walk-behind lawnmowers, lawn tractors, tillers and small generators have signed a Statement of Principles (SOP) to establish a framework for Phase 2 emission standards. An Advance Notice of Proposed Rulemaking based on the elements in the SOP is expected in early 1997 and a Proposed Rule in the fall. Public comment will be accepted on both rulemakings. If adopted, the standards are expected to reduce hydrocarbon plus nitrogen oxide emissions by approximately 40 percent from the Phase 1 levels. (The Phase 1 standards become effective with the 1997 model year.) This particular category of  non-road engines (at or below 19 kilowatts) are sorted into non-handheld Class 1 engines which are used primarily for residential applications and non-handheld Class 2 engines used primarily for commercial applications. Together they contribute about seven percent of ozone-forming pollutants from mobile sources. The program for Class 1 engines would become effective in 2001 and Class 2 standards would be phased in between 2001-20005. (This program, which will cover new equipment sold nationwide, does not affect existing lawn equipment.) The signatories recognize that further control from these sources is achiveable through technology which will be cost-effective and feasible in future model years. The parties are putting a special emphasis on cleaner, more durable engine technology, such as over-head valve (OHV) technology with superior combustion chamber and cylinder head design which would help ensure that emission reductions continue for the useful life of the equipment. Manufacturers of Class 2 engines are expected to shift their production completely to OHV or comparably clean and durable technology as a result of these standards. To determine the feasibility and marketability of using OHV for Class 1 engines, EPA has entered into separate Memoranda of Understanding with Briggs & Stratton Corp. and Tecuemsh Products Co., calling for an OHV demonstration program. The signatories also agreed to work on a voluntary fuel spillage reduction program to educate consumers about the significant contribution to air pollution from fuel spillage and to encourage the development and use of technology to reduce spills by users.

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