The Australian Marine Engine Council (AMEC) applauds the statement from Environment Minister Greg Hunt of 29 April 2014 on Ministers’ agreement to review environmental regulation, and in particular the call from both Federal and State Environment Ministers for the Department of Environment to complete its impact statement and recommendations on potential emission control options for marine engines by September this year. Regulations could follow that, perhaps as early as the first half of 2015.
Such regulations will mean no further imports of high emission outboards, that means no more carbureted and EFI twostroke outboards with emissions ten to twenty times the levels of four stroke outboards and modern direct injection two strokes like E-TEC technology.
'AMEC has been committed to cooperate with the Government on practical actions that will achieve tangible results for a healthy environment and clean air. But boaters have nothing to fear. These standards will only apply to new outboards imported after the laws are passed. Nothing they own now will be affected or banned'. David Heyes, Chairman of AMEC, said.
Industry can now move forward with confidence. As Heyes explains 'we have been living with uncertainly since the authorities updated the Australian Boat Building standards for heavier four strokes in 2009. I’m glad now we can move forward with certainty.'
The Government and Industry began work on emissions standards in 2006. Public Consultation was held in 2010, but since then, the final report has stalled. The fact that this report has been called by the Ministers, led by Greg Hunt, for by September 2014 is an important progress.
'The shape of the regulations we foresee is pretty clear,' according to AMEC Industry Analyst, Gary Fooks. 'Since 2006 AMEC has worked to ensure that a balanced approach to reflect the USA EPA standard is applied. This is not only the world’s best standard, but governs the biggest market for outboards, which means more and better choices for Australian consumers.'
Small engine emissions standards are not just focused on the marine industry. Off-road engines from lawn mowers to petrol generators will also have to meet the new standards.
AMEC is an Australian industry-based membership council that shares a common interest of sustainable practices to provide efficient, environmentally-friendly products to consumers.