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Release Date: 09/19/2001
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Environmental News



Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824 /

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is proposing to regulate several types of nonroad engines to help reduce hydrocarbons (HC) carbon monoxide (CO) nitrogen oxides (NOx) in the environment. Controlling these pollutants will reduce exposure to CO and air toxics for the operators who work with or near these engines, and help to remove haze from national parks.

“If left unregulated, pollution from these sources will continue to increase, becoming a larger part of the overall mobile source pollution,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “When fully implemented, this action will not only protect public health, but will help to restore the view of our nation’s treasured scenic parks and wilderness areas.”

The engines and vehicles covered by this proposal are significant sources of air pollution. They account for about 13 percent of mobile source hydrocarbon emissions, 6 percent of mobile source carbon monoxide emissions and 3 percent of mobile source nitrogen oxides emissions. The proposed standards are expected to reduce CO emissions up to 56 percent and HC and NOx emissions up to nearly 80 percent when fully implemented compared to today’s engine groups. These engine groups include:

C Large Industrial Spark Ignition Engines: Spark-ignition nonroad engines rated over 25 horsepower are usually car engines used in heavy machinery. EPA has proposed adopting standards set by California in 1998 to be effective nationwide in 2004. EPA has proposed stricter requirements for years after 2007. EPA expects fuel savings and substantial reduction in nitrogen oxides, which contribute to ground-level ozone or smog.

C Recreational Diesel Marine Engines: These engines are used in yachts and other pleasure craft. EPA has proposed to apply similar standards to those it has already promulgated for commercial diesel marine engines, with an additional two years of lead time to allow for emissions control technology to be adapted to these engines.

C Off-Road Motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles: EPA is proposing an emissions standard that would encourage manufacturers of these vehicles to switch from two-stroke engines to four-stroke engines, beginning in 2006. EPA is proposing that all-terrain vehicles would also need to meet a second, more stringent phase of standards beginning in 2009. EPA would exempt from regulation those off-road motorcycles and all-terrain vehicles that can be shown to be intended for use in competition.

Snowmobiles: EPA has proposed a standard that would reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions by 30 percent in 2006 and 50 percent in 2010. EPA believes these standards could be met with technologies available from other engine types, and is requesting comments from the public about this view.

To improve the final rule, EPA will refine the cost-benefit analysis it conducted in connection with this proposed rule. EPA will take into consideration the findings of this analysis as it makes final decisions on standards, phase-in periods, and or scope of coverage.

EPA will issue proposals for highway motorcycles and evaporative emissions from gasoline powered boats within the next few months.

Public hearings will be held in Washington, DC on October 24, and in Denver, Colo., on October 30. Detailed information about the hearings and on submitting written comments will be published in the Federal Register and at

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