The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI), based in Alexandria, Virginia, U.S., said it is cautious in its support of the U.S. Environment Protection Agency’s (EPA) proposed ruling on small engines, released last week. This regulation represents the third generation of small off-road standards in the last 13 years.
OPEI said that, although it had not yet had time to fully evaluate the final version of the Notice of Proposed Rule Making (NPRM), it has been working constructively with the EPA to assure that states can obtain clean air benefits while considering the realities and complexities of the non-integrated outdoor power equipment industry.
"We knew this ruling was imminent," said Bill Harley, president and CEO of OPEI. "The industry has been working with EPA all along."
The makers of lawn and garden equipment have spent millions of dollars and invested heavily in new technologies to reduce emissions. In the last 13 years U.S. outdoor power equipment has reduced exhaust emissions by more than 70 percent. According to EPA, Phase III regulations would achieve an additional 35 percent reduction in exhaust emissions and 45 percent reduction in fuel evaporative emissions.
OPEI said earlier this year that it would support California’s rule on emissions, granted by an EPA waiver on Dec. 11, 2006, with the caveat that the EPA would develop a homogeneous regulation that mirrored the requirements of California or provide reciprocity for California certified product.
“Homogeneous regulations will permit the industry to manufacture, test, certify, and distribute one product for all 50 states rather than entirely different product lines to different states,” stated Harley.
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