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Stricter exhaust emission regulations for California in 2008

By IBI Magazine

The state of California has announced it will introduce a new, more stringent set of exhaust emission regulations for sterndrive and inboard (SD/I) gasoline marine engines beginning January 1, 2008.

Under the new regulations, the state will require all boats outfitted with gasoline SD/I engines manufactured after January 1, 2008, to be equipped with catalyst technology.

The only exceptions to the rule will be 4.3L and 8.1L engines manufactured by General Motors (GM will stop producing these models after 2009) and some phased-in Indmar engines (the company began its phase-in programme this year). Engine manufacturers are also required to certify their engines meet the appropriate model year emission standards with the California Air Resources Board (CARB).

The National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) is encouraging all parties in the SD/I distribution channel - including boatbuilders, engine manufacturers and boat and engine retailers - to understand their individual responsibilities and liabilities associated with the ruling.

"Unlike previously enacted outboard engine and personal watercraft emission regulations, which placed the compliance burden exclusively on marine engine manufacturers, the compliance burden and liability for the SD/I regulation will be shared between the dealer, boatbuilder and engine maker," said John McKnight, NMMA director of Environmental Safety and Compliance.

Another regulation recently adopted by the state of California, which took effect on January 1 this year, requires boatbuilders (with the exception of those using Indmar engines) to install a low permeation fuel hose between the fuel tank and the engine on boats with engines built after the first of the year. The hose must be marked A1-15.

Both the American Boat and Yacht Council (ABYC) fuel systems standard and the Society of Automotive Engineers (SAE) J1527 fuel hose test methods have been updated to reflect these changes.

California stipulates engine manufacturers must inform boatbuilders when low permeation hose installation is necessary. It then becomes the boatbuilders' responsibility to install the hose and the dealership's responsibility to ensure all boats sold in California with SD/I engines built after January 1, 2007, have low permeation fuel hoses attached.

Marine retailers are, however, still allowed to continue selling boats with engines manufactured prior to January 1, 2008, as the CARB regulations do not impose a sales date deadline for regulated SD/I engines.

(13 March 2007)

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