Today’s announcement from the Meeting of State and Federal Environment Ministers gave the green light for non-road spark ignition (petrol) engine emissions standards. This will bring Australia in line with the USA who lead the world in emissions standards for small petrol equipment including lawn mowers, outboards, chain saws and generators.
The Ministers had made an “in principle” agreement at their last meeting, which started the ball rolling with a Working Group formed of industry, government and community representatives formed to advise how best to implement standards for Australia. That report is due before the end of December.
The timetable after December is up to the Minister and Parliament. But according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and member of the Working Group “If we stick to the ambitious program set by Minister Hunt, that would see the Legislation introduced in the first half of 2016. The next tangible output the public will see should be and Exposure Draft of the Legislation: that should be here in early 2016.
The Working Group agreed that the introduction of standards should progress through the next steps as soon as possible. Their advice has included exemptions, phase-ins for certain engine categories and how to most efficiently monitor compliance across the industry.
Asked if that meant no more two stroke lawn mowers or outboards after July Gary was quick to point out “let’s be clear, these laws are not an attack on any one technology: we will still have quality hand held products like STIHL and Husqvarna chainsaws, and of course Direct Injection two stroke outboards like E-TEC, but yes, four strokes will be the more common engine type in future especially for lawn mowers and generators.”
Any phase in is likely to be limited. Existing dealer stock gets exempted as the laws should only apply to new imports. And of course no law will ban what the public already has in the garage.
David Heyes, Chairman of AMEC added “any phase in or broad exemption that Minister Hunt decided to allow won’t be extensive. Exemptions are generally only where there is no possible alternate and a phase in would be in terms of months which means industry needs to finalize their preparations.”
Some boat builders will need to upgrade hulls, perhaps widen the transom, to allow for heavier clean engines. The outboard weight chart that was updated in AS1799 Australian Boat building standard in 2009 will help here.
BMT Dealers need to do their homework too: they will be largely responsible for the Fuel System Evaporative Standard. That will mean low permeation hoses and fuel tanks, a carbon canister on the vent line and a fuel tank ullage or overflow tank. For more information, ask your BIA or AMEC. www.marinecouncil.org.au
EXTRACT OF MINISTERS’ STATEMENT
· Ministers agreed to introduce emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors). Non-road spark ignition engines are a significant contributor to air pollution. The introduction of new standards will bring Australia into line with existing international standards, particularly those in North America. Ministers also noted that a working group of experts is on track to provide interim advice this year on implementing the standards, with the aim of introducing legislation into Federal Parliament in mid-2016.
Australian Environment Ministers Agree on Emissions standards “with the aim of implementing standards in the first half of 2016”.
Thursday’s (16 July) announcement by all Australian Environment Ministers confirms that Australia will adopt emissions standards for non-road engines, including outboards, PWC’s and petrol inboards, as well as lawn mowers, chainsaws, generators and brush cutters. With the final green light to be announced at the next Environment Minister’s meeting later this year, the Ministers have established a working group to draft standards and legislation by the end of 2015, “with the aim of implementing standards in the first half of 2016”.
The key part of emissions standards have been on the table since 2010. The USA standard has become the defacto world standard and that’s also the plan for Australia. Traditional two strokes won’t pass the anticipated standards, both carby and efi. Most four strokes and Direct Injection two strokes meet the toughest emissions standards. That means that around half of the outboards being sold today already meet the standard.
AS1799 Australian boat building standards was updated in 2009 to allow for heavier, low emission engines.
The proposed standards also include changes to fuel systems that will affect every boat builder and BMT retailer. Fuel systems will be more complex, with low permeation tanks and hoses, backflow valves and a carbon canister on the fuel vent. This will bring larger boats in line with car standards. Smaller systems like lawn mowers will need low permeation fuel tanks and hoses, and a tethered fuel cap.
The exact timing of regulations are yet to be decided, but the statement makes it clear that they will start in less than 12 months. What the public owns now won’t be “banned” and dealer stock won’t be affected though excessive stock piling could be restricted.
The USA started outboard emissions standards sixteen years ago. The major markets have followed including the European Union, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Canada and India. China introduced small engine emissions standards in 2011.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt opened the Melbourne Boat Show in June and took time to meet the boating and garden equipment industry leaders face to face. Ministers statement is at http://www.environment.gov.au/about-us/mem
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Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced today an Agreement between the state and federal ministers that will see emissions standards for outboards on the table by mid 2015. According to the Ministers’ announcement: “Governments will complete work by mid 2015 to develop emissions control measures for: non-road spark ignition engines and equipment.” (Non road spark ignition engines will include outboards petrol engines from lawn mowers to generators.)
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Environment Minister Greg Hunt announced today an Agreement between the state and federal ministers that will see emissions standards for outdoor power equipment on the table by mid 2015. According to the Ministers’ announcement: “Governments will complete work by mid 2015 to develop emissions control measures for: non-road spark ignition engines and equipment.” (Non road spark ignition engines will include all petrol engines from lawn mowers to generators.)