EPA Planned Regulation


US EPA Plan to Regulate Evaporative Emissions from Boat Fuel Systems

The EPA plans to regulate evaporative emissions from gasoline powered boats of all sizes. EPA plans to regulate evaporative emissions from two sources - emissions from open vents on fuel tanks and permeation (plastic tanks only)

EPA Proposed Technology Associated Problems
Pressure relief valve violates ABYC safety standards
Limited flow orifice Violates ABYC safety standards
Volume compensation bag Unproven, expensive
Insulation of tank Opposed by US Coast Guard

If these regulations are enacted, the cost just to insulate a tank could be approximately $250 per boat and would reduce capacities in boats where the tank has been designed for maximum capacity.

  • The EPA is basing the need for this regulation on its inventory data.
  • Based on some preliminary testing EPA has established a baseline, and plans to propose a 50% reduction in emissions.
  • The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) was to be issued in Sept., but NMMA was successful in getting it delayed. EPA is pushing for releasing the proposal in November and industry will have approximately 30 days to prepare oral arguments, 90 days for written comment.
  • NMMA has organized an evaporative emission task force to develop a unified industry strategy and position. The task force met on November 6 and 7 in Nashville. Task force members include all NMMA member fuel tank manufacturers, several engine manufacturers, several fuel system component manufacturers and several boat builders.
  • NMMA has retained the automotive industry's top consultant to assist us with evaluating testing needs and technology options.
  • The task force has agreed to oppose pressurizing the fuel tank. The task force has agreed to not oppose bladder systems as a compliance option. The task force has agreed to commission a study on the use of carbon. Task force members plan to run tests to determine if increased wall thickness reduces permeation.
  • Real world testing will also be necessary to validate or disprove the EPA's baseline numbers. Testing will be needed to determine the relationship between diurnal temperature and fuel temperature in different types of boat fuel tank configurations. This testing needs to be done in different areas of the country through the summer months. The industry first needs good baseline data, before we can begin to evaluate technology options.
  • Summary of NMMA's strategy: Challenge EPA baseline numbers, establish need for better data, propose industry test program, continue to engage the USCG and ABYC highlighting safety concerns, evaluate alternative technologies, illustrate impact and hardships on small businesses.