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EPA, New Jersey DEP and Marine Industry Leaders Sign Agreement Promoting Cleaner Outboard Engines on Jersey Shores; Low-Polluting Boat Engines Reduce Air Emissions by 75 Percent

Release Date: 02/27/2003
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(#03017) New York, N.Y. – At the Spring New Jersey Boat Show today, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Regional Administrator Jane M. Kenny in cooperation with New Jersey Department of Environmental Protection (NJDEP) Commissioner Bradley M. Campbell joined representatives of the marine industry to encourage the sale of low-polluting outboard motors and personal water craft engines in New Jersey.

Under a Memorandum of Understanding initiated by EPA and signed by NJDEP, the Marine Trades Association of New Jersey (MTA/NJ), the National Marine Manufacturers Association (NMMA) and the Marine Retailers Association of America (MRAA), the parties will work to ensure that by 2005, 95 percent of the two and four-stroke marine engines sold in the state of New Jersey are low-polluting. The cleaner engines emit 75 percent less air pollution, burn 35 to 50 percent less fuel, use up to 50 percent less oil, and discharge significantly less gasoline directly into the water than conventional engines. Several New Jersey retailers that have committed to sell the cleaner engines received certificates of recognition from EPA and NJDEP, and were presented with ceremonial flags by Tom Fote of the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program, which expressed its strong support for the program.

"From our freshwater lakes, to our bays, to the Atlantic Ocean, New Jersey can be a boater's paradise. This agreement will improve that paradise, one boat at a time, said EPA's Kenny. "We're very pleased to say that although EPA regulations will require low-polluting technologies in all of these engines by 2006, our partners today have said ‘Why wait?'. They have truly demonstrated that working together, government and industry can push the environmental envelope."

"This partnership is particularly important for coastal states like New Jersey," said Commissioner Campbell. "Cleaner marine engines will provide healthier air and cleaner water for residents and visitors to enjoy. The program benefits our environment and our state's travel and tourism economy and I look forward to working with our partners to promote it."

"The MTA/NJ is pleased to be part of this initiative to promote the sale of low pollution outboard and personal watercraft engines. This agreement demonstrates our commitment to protecting the environment and promoting clean water initiatives for NJ's marine businesses and boaters alike," said Paul Terzian, Vice-President of the MTA/NJ. "We look forward to working with the EPA, the NJDEP and the national organizations to make this program a success."

"The Barnegat Bay Estuary Program is very supportive of this initiative to promote use of low pollution marine engines," said Tom Fote, Citizen Representative of the Barnegat Bay Estuary Program Policy Committee. "This will result in a significant reduction in air emissions and atmospheric deposition and, ultimately, improvement of the water quality of Barnegat Bay."

Under the Memorandum of Understanding signed today, participating retailers in New Jersey will encourage customers to buy low-polluting engines. By 2003, 80 percent or more of the new engines sold will utilize cleaner technologies; by 2005, that number will rise to 95 percent. Participating retailers will provide MTANJ with low-polluting engine sales information, which will be provided to EPA and NJDEP in aggregate form. MTANJ, NMMA, and MRAA will help their members achieve these goals by providing them with marketing and communications assistance, training and research. In turn, EPA and NJDEP will work jointly to develop public education materials to spread the word about cleaner marine engines, and will work with state agencies and municipalities to support the use of low pollution marine engines in New Jersey. New Jersey has approximately 225,000 registered personal water craft and boats with outboard motors.

New Jersey's 127 miles of shoreline provide recreational opportunities for thousands of boaters. Until recently, conventional two-stroke marine engines powered most outboard engines and personal water craft. Unfortunately, up to 30% of the gasoline passing through the combustion chambers of such engines is not burned or only partially burned, resulting in emissions of dark smoke containing hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides – chemicals that contribute to the formation of ground-level ozone or "smog." Unburned gasoline is also released directly into

the water from such engines, causing the contamination of water bodies with toxic chemicals like benzene, toluene, xylene and ethylene.

In August 1996, EPA established emissions standards for new gasoline outboard engines and personal water craft engines with a goal of reducing hydrocarbon emissions from such engines 75 percent by 2025. The EPA regulations were developed in cooperation with marine engine manufacturers, phasing in increasingly more stringent air emissions requirements for the engines starting in 1998. By 2006, all manufacturers' average emissions for new outboard and personal water craft gasoline engines must meet EPA's most stringent low-pollution standards.

The voluntary New Jersey clean marine engines program comes on the heels of other successful EPA agreements with the marine industry and state governments in Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Connecticut and Rhode Island.

Information about the agreement and clean marine engines can be found at