Boaters encouraged to buy low polluting outboards
Monday, July 15, 2002
Burlington, Vermont, USA
Environmental News Service (ENS)
Sales of low polluting outboard motors and personal watercraft engines in New England and New York will be promoted under an initiative announced Thursday by a federal agency, two states and private industry.
The Get On Board initiative is designed to accelerate the sale of low pollution two stroke and four stroke marine engines which emit less pollution than conventional marine engines.
Conventional boat and watercraft engines discharge up to 30 percent of their fuel directly into the water and air as pollution. This produces airborne hydrocarbon emissions which contribute to the formation of ground level ozone or smog. Gasoline discharged to the water elevates concentrations of benzene, MTBE and other toxics in lakes, ponds, and coastal waters.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation, the Empire State Marine Trade Association, the National Marine Manufacturers Association and the Marine Retailers Association of America Thursday announced a voluntary initiative to encourage their in Vermont and parts of New York.
"With more than 12,000 boats on Lake Champlain, most of them being outboards and personal watercraft, these clean engines represent a great opportunity for boaters to take a big collective bite out of pollution entering this pristine water body," Robert Varney, regional administrator of EPA's New England Office, told reporters Thursday at the Community Boathouse in Burlington, Vermont.
Vermont has about 29,000 registered personal watercraft and boats with outboard motors.
"Six years ago engine manufacturers thought they would never be able to build a four stroke outboard engine over 100 horsepower that was light enough or small enough to fit on a standard boat," said Kelly Rote Bobek, director of federal government relations at the National Marine Manufacturers Association. "Today, as you know, we have four stroke outboard engines reaching 200 to 250 hp. We have also seen the development of cleaner running direct-injection two-stroke engines. Achieving this has been nothing short of incredible in such a short timetable."
All groups, including retailers who are members of the marine trade associations, will work to achieve a goal of selling 75 percent clean engines this year across all of Vermont as well as the New York Lake Champlain region, 80 percent in 2003, and 95 percent by 2004.
The program in Vermont and New York is modeled after a successful program by the state of New Hampshire, which has three dozen participating dealers, all of which reached 2001's goal of selling 75 percent clean engines.
EPA New England announced a similar program earlier this year in Rhode Island, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Maine.
EPA regulations require that by 2006, all manufacturers' average emissions for new outboard and personal watercraft engines meet low pollution standards.