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EPA PROPOSES TO MAKE NEW HIGHWAY MOTORCYCLES CLEANER

Release Date: 07/26/2002
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Environmental News


FOR RELEASE: FRIDAY, JULY 26, 2002

EPA PROPOSES TO MAKE NEW HIGHWAY MOTORCYCLES CLEANER

Contact: Cathy Milbourn 202-564-7824/milbourn.cathy@epa.gov



EPA is proposing emission standards for new highway motorcycles and gasoline-fueled recreational boats. When implemented, this action would reduce emissions from motorcycles by 50 percent and reduce emissions from boats by 80 percent from today’s levels. These standards would to go into effect in 2006 for new motorcycles and in 2008 for new boats.

“When final, these new standards would have clean air gains equivalent to reducing pollution from 9.4 million cars annually,” said EPA Administrator Christie Whitman. “Although many of the five million motorcycles on the road today are cleaner than required, a typical motorcycle still emits about 20 times more pollution per mile than a new car. Combined with less polluting recreational boats, these proposed standards will help as we strive for cleaner air,” Whitman added.

The sources covered by this proposal are important contributors to air pollution. They currently account for about 12 percent of hydrocarbon (HC) emissions and three percent of carbon monoxide (CO) emissions from mobile sources, a category that includes automobiles, trucks and off road vehicles. The highway motorcycle standards would reduce the combined emissions of HC and NOx in the exhaust of each motorcycle by 50 percent.

The proposed standards for yachts, sport boats, fishing boats, jet boats, and other types of pleasure craft and boats with outboard engines are expected to reduce evaporative HC emissions by 80 percent. These standards will help avoid a range of adverse health effects associated with ozone, CO, and particulate matter or soot levels, especially in terms of respiratory impairment and related illnesses.

The proposed standards for new motorcycles will not affect their performance. The Agency’s proposal does not in any way change the existing law that makes it illegal to modify the emission control devices causing the emission systems to exceed applicable standards. Motorcycle owners may make cosmetic changes such as the color and chrome.

EPA has already set emission standards for most marine categories. The Agency set exhaust emission standards for some outboard engines and personal watercraft in 1996. EPA proposed new emission standards for diesel-powered recreational boats in 2001 and for commercial marine vessels earlier this year. EPA expects those standards be finalized early next year.

EPA will hold public hearings on this proposal on Sept.17, in Ypsilanti, Mich., for motorcycles and on Sept. 23, in Ann Arbor, Mich., for boats. For more information on the proposal, how to submit comments and the public hearings, visit: www.epa.gov/otaq/roadbike.htm and www.epa.gov/otaq/recveh.htm .

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