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Death of the 2 stroke by lethal fuel injection. 2006 RIP (Roost In Peace)

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Clean Air Act expands to off-road vehicles

By 2012, EPA says, it will be the equivalent of reducing nation's cars by 15%.


The New York Times

WASHINGTON – A final regulation issued Friday by the Environmental Protection Agency will impose stringent new pollution regulations on some of the country's dirtiest engines, the first time that snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles will fall under the Clean Air Act.

The rules will cover hundreds of thousands of off-road vehicles whose pollution until now had not been regulated. When they take full effect in 2012, their impact will be equivalent to reducing the nation's automobile fleet by 15 percent, or by 30 million cars, agency officials said.

Environmentalists had been lobbying for even stricter rules, and some criticized Friday's final rule as a missed opportunity. The final regulations, they noted, are somewhat less strict than those the administration proposed a year ago.

But the reductions remain sweeping, beginning with a requirement that snowmobiles sold in 2006 emit 30 percent less hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide than those being sold today. With their dirty, two-stroke engines, off-road vehicles account for a disproportionate share of air pollution, and EPA officials said Friday's action would curb what threatened to be a further rise.

The rule was signed Friday evening by Christie Whitman, the EPA administrator, to meet a court-ordered deadline for action that was set in response to a challenge by environmental groups.

In interviews, industry officials generally described the new regulations as satisfactory, while environmentalists said tougher rules should have been imposed, and could have been achieved at relatively modest cost.

Compared to the 200 million cars and trucks on American roads today, the 1.2 million snowmobiles currently in operation represent no more than a tiny fraction. But among all off-road vehicles, they have been a main target of complaints from environmentalists, who cite studies suggesting that a single snowmobile operating for seven hours may emit as much pollution as a clean passenger car driven for 100,000 miles.

The EPA said off-road vehicles already produce 10 percent of the hydrocarbon pollution emitted by cars, trucks and other mobile sources each year. With cars and trucks subject to increasingly stringent controls, the share of hydrocarbon pollution from off-road vehicles would have risen to 24 percent by 2020, without the new regulations, the agency said.

The new, final rules will take full effect in 2012, when snowmobile manufacturers will be required to meet one of two alternatives. One would require reductions in emissions of both hydrocarbons and carbon monoxide by 50 percent from current levels. The other, intended to encourage reductions in hydrocarbons, the source of the more urgent health concerns, would require a 70 percent reduction in hydrocarbons in return for a 30 percent reduction in carbon monoxide.


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Let's do the math:

Assume for a moment that off-road vehicles DO account for 10% of the total motor pollutant count as EPA announced.

For 0.6% of the off-road vehicles to be contributing 10% of the pollution, they would have to emit roughly 16.6X the average pollutants per, let's say, each HOUR of operation of the typical car/truck. I don't have the figures, but I think it's safe to assume that the average off-road vehicle is operated maybe 10% as many hours as the average auto/truck over a month or year. It's likely much less, but we'll use that number. This means the average off-road vehicle, to contribute 10% of the total pollutants over time, must be spewing at 166X the RATE of the average auto/truck. This with an engine that is roughly 10% of the displacement, or less.

I'm not sure what calculator they are using at EPA, but their figures are utterly absurd. Someone in EPA is giving the enviro groups a license to steal.

Sounds to me this is another case of our elected officials making a huge issue of a little problem, taking a sledge hammer to it, then standing back and showing us all the wonderful things they are doing with our money in DC.

Write some letters.


[ September 15, 2002, 03:45 PM: Message edited by: Dan from HB ]

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it is a fact that statistics can be twisted and manipulated so that while they are still true, they don't accurately tell the truth in a situation.

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The problem is people

If people would just stop breathing all this carbon monoxide bull would go away

[ September 16, 2002, 04:59 PM: Message edited by: E.G.O.**** ]

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