Transportation & Fuel Source Technology
EPA Recognizes First Production Catalyst Engine for Recreational Boats
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today recognized boat engine manufacturer Indmar Products Company, Inc for developing the first clean catalytic marine engine to enter production for the public which significantly eliminates dangerous carbon monoxide emissions. Government and industry leaders gathered at the ceremony hailed the development as a groundbreaking step that will take the boating industry into a new era of engine safety and offer substantial air quality benefits.
"I'm very pleased to recognize Indmar Marine Engines for their leadership in advancing clean catalyst technology," said Margo Oge, the Director of EPA's Office of Transportation and Air Quality. "Their clean emission technology will offer substantial air quality benefits to boaters and the public at large, demonstrating what a business committed to consumer safety can accomplish."
A first for production gasoline inboard marine engines, the Indmar technology significantly reduces exhaust emissions of carbon monoxide, combined hydrocarbons, and oxides of nitrogen. The new catalytic converter will enable the boating population to enjoy their time on the water with an extra margin of safety, while at the same time reducing boating's environmental impact on both air and water quality.
"The marine environment is harsh -- engines and components are subjected to many stresses from the water, salt corrosion, the sun, and extremes in temperatures," said NMMA President Thom Dammrich. "Indmar has earned this recognition for making the investment to develop this new catalytic engine technology that stands up to these rigors and enhances boating safety."
"We're honored by the EPA's recognition of our pro-active approach to emissions control and consumer safety," said Indmar founder Dick Rowe. "For us, it was the right thing to do, and will be good for the advancement for our industry, boaters and our environment."
With summer passing the half-way mark, boaters have taken to the waters this summer in record numbers. Thanks to efforts by the recreational boating community, lawmakers and law enforcement, enormous strides have been made over the years to improve safety, and, as a result, boating has become safer.
However, media reports have focused on the deadly impact carbon monoxide can have with the improper use of recreational boats. Carbon monoxide (CO) is a potentially deadly gas produced anytime a carbon-based fuel, such as gasoline, combusts in generators and engines. 'Teak surfing,' the very dangerous and illegal practice of hanging on to the platform of a boat while the engine is running, has been the cause of recently reported CO deaths in the U.S. The boating industry supports efforts to ban this dangerous activity and has developed a consumer awareness campaign to warn consumers about 'teak surfing.'
"Over the past several years, working jointly with EPA, CARB and NMMA, the Coast Guard has dedicated time and resources to test and evaluate the potential safety issues associated with marine catalysts. Through our combined efforts and the efforts of people at Indmar Corporation, we have today a manufacturer who has developed a product that not only will meet future EPA and CARB clean air standards, but does so safely and, as an added benefit, greatly reduces harmful carbon monoxide emissions," says Jeff Hoedt, Chief of the Coast Guard's Office of Boating Safety.
The new engine will also be the first marine engine to earn the California Air Resources Board's (CARB) top rating of Four Star Super-Ultra-Low Emissions. Neither CARB nor the EPA currently regulates CO emissions, and NMMA believes today's recognition will set the tone for future industry efforts to reduce engine emissions voluntarily through technological developments.
"The boating industry is committed to promoting advances in engineering that make boating affordable and safe for the American family," Dammrich said. "Today's award by the EPA highlights the industry's commitment to safety, good stewardship of our resources, and a better boating experience through technological innovation."
The National Marine Manufacturing Association (NMMA) is the nation's largest recreational marine industry association, representing over 1,600 boat builders, engine manufacturers, and marine accessory manufacturers. NMMA members collectively produce more than 80 percent of all recreational marine products made in the United States. Recreational boating is a popular American pastime, with almost 71 million boaters nationwide and over 13 million registered boats. The recreational boating industry is a substantial contributor to the nation's economy with expenditures on recreational marine products and services of over $37 billion in 2005 alone. Please visit our website at http://www.nmma.org
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