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California ARB Adopts Measures to Cut Gasoline Emissions from Outboard Motor Boats

The California Air Resources Board (ARB) adopted new regulations to reduce toxic gasoline emissions from outboard marine tanks and components by up to 4.2 tons per day by 2020, saving consumers about 4.6 gallons of gasoline per year in lost fuel.

Scheduled for implementation starting Jan. 1, 2010, the regulations impose standards on tanks, fuel hoses, primer bulbs and caps and incorporate tools already used by ARB to limit gasoline emissions from portable fuel containers and small off-road engines and equipment.

The regulations will costs consumers about $10 more when they purchase a new tank and components, but the new products will save consumers more than $16 per tank per year, assuming gasoline costs $3.50 per gallon, according to ARB calculations. The end result is an estimated overall reduction of about 90 million pounds of gasoline emissions from the state’s estimated 200,000 outboard marine tanks over the next 18 years (the time it will take to replace existing tanks and components), and savings to the consumer as well.

The ARB is also developing an enforcement program to ensure compliance with the new regulations.

Gasoline vapors contain smog-forming pollutants along with toxics such as benzene, which have long been associated with cancer and other negative health effects.


Henry Gibson

Penny wise and pound foolish. CARB had its chance to substantially reduce emissions and protect people from high gasoline prices. If a single EV1 had been sold and equipped with the available ZEBRA battery ten years ago it would have shown that ZEVs with a greater than 100 mile commuter range could be built.

Whilst bigger and bigger houses use more natural gas and electricity, and more and more large cars are put on the road in California, CARB puts controls on boat motors. And Califonians try th pretend that they are being "GREEN" buy using massive amounts of hydro from out of state. They are now going to build windfarms in Utah after refusing to honour their contract to buy more coal fired electricity. Is there not enough land and wind in one of the largest states to supply its own wind power. Utah could use a lot of the power from the Columbia that now goes to California to pretend to green up its %95 coal and gas electricity use.



Good! Glad to see the many small boats in this state will be less toxic.


This is an industry that like automobiles, needs electrification. Power boating had the highest rate of growth for outdoor recreational activity in 2006, up 6.2% to 29.3 million power boaters. Gasoline and diesel engines discharge oil and gas residue that contribute to the increasing problem of surface hydrocarbon film, and water suspended toxins.

Research carried out by California Air Resources Board (1998) found that two-stroke engines can discharge as much as one-third of the oil/petrol mixture unburned into the water. While this is a good start, there should be more attention given to the real pollutants that are damaging lakes and ocean resources. Especially with regard to discharge.


Two cycle is used in either high performance or small outboards. Obviously the high performance engines are the target. The small engines could be replaced by electric. When MTBE was in gasoline, it was polluting lakes and we had to limit that. We should try to keep out environment as clean as possible. A few high performance boat owners may complain, but it is the most good for the most people that should guide our decisions.

Or make high performance environmentally friendly - e.g. TESLA.


I do not think that high performance boat owners want to replace two 200 hp two cycle outboard motors with $100,000 of electric motors and lithium batteries. They love the smoke, the smell and the sound of all that polluting power.

John Taylor

A Canadian company offers The Quietude 156 and The Fantail 217, two great electric boats.
Because you can refuel them at your own cottage with electricity, they are a convenient quiet and enjoyable way to travel on a lake or river.


I have an electric boat motor and I like it. I was seriously considering making a solar PV awning for the boat to extend the range. There are no starting problems and it is super quiet.

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