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EPA FINALIZES PLANS TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM NON-ROAD VEHICLES

Release Date: 09/13/2002
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Environmental News



FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, SEPTEMBER 13, 2002

EPA FINALIZES PLANS TO REDUCE POLLUTION FROM NON-ROAD VEHICLES

Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-9828/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov


The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is adopting new standards to reduce pollutants for the first time from several groups of non-road engines including large industrial engines, snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles. When fully implemented, these standards will remove more than two million tons of pollution each year including more than one million tons of hydrocarbons (HC) and nitrogen oxides (NOx) and 1.3 million tons of carbon monoxide (CO), equivalent to removing the pollution from more than 32 million cars every year.
“If left unregulated, pollution from these sources will continue to increase,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “When fully implemented, this action will not only protect public health, but will help restore the view of our nation’s treasured scenic parks and wilderness areas.”

The health benefits of this action are significant. It would annually avoid approximately 1,000 premature deaths, prevent 1,000 hospital emissions, reduce 23,400 cases of asthma attacks and preventing 200,000 days of lost work. Controlling these pollutants will also reduce exposure to CO and air toxics from engines operated in warehouses, ice-skating rinks, or other enclosed areas, where personnel who work with or near the equipment can experience increased exposure. The fuel savings of this action are more than 800 million gallons, at a savings of $500 million annually.

Although these different kinds of engines are combined into one rulemaking, the new requirements reflect differences in the way each type of engine is designed and used. All of these standards apply only to new engines produced in future years and have no effect on existing engines. The engine groups covered by today’s action include:
  • Large Industrial Spark Ignition Engines: These engines are used in a variety of industrial applications such as forklifts, airport baggage transport vehicles and electric generators. EPA is adopting standards set by California in 1998 to be effective nationwide in 2004, with stricter requirements effective after 2007. EPA expects fuel savings and substantial reductions in NOx emissions, which contribute to ground-level ozone or smog.
  • Snowmobiles: The new standard will reduce hydrocarbon and carbon monoxide emissions by 30 percent in 2006 and add a further reduction of HC in 2010 and HC and CO in 2012. Snowmobiles currently emit more than 220,000 tons of HC and 580,000 tons of CO each year across the United States. These emissions contribute to air toxics (such as benzene) and fine particulate matter, which is largely responsible for visibility impairment at national parks. These emissions also add to ambient concentrations of CO.
  • Recreational Diesel Marine Engines: These engines are used in yachts and other pleasure craft. Beginning in 2006, similar standards to those EPA has already issued for commercial diesel marine engines are phased in. The new rule provides an additional two years of lead time to allow for emissions control technology to be adapted to these engines.
  • Off-Road Motorcycles and All-Terrain Vehicles: The new emissions standards encourage manufacturers of these vehicles to switch from two-stroke engines to cleaner four-stroke engines, beginning in 2006.

The rule and supporting documents will be available at: www.epa.gov/otaq/cleanrec.htm on Monday, September 16, 2002.


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