CALIFORNIA EMISSIONS RULES

With everyone from scientists to politicians to manufacturers voicing opinions about emissions to the environment, it's almost enough to get lost in all of the noise. However, the California Air Resources Board (CARB) has recently released a document called Small Off-Road Engine Evaporative Emission Control System Certification Procedure to help add clarity to the rules.

The document describes the procedures for evaluating and certifying evaporative emission control systems on small off-road engines with displacements of less than or equal to 80 cc. The first CARB regulations for small engines took place in 1990 (Tier 1) and January 1999 (Tier II) to reduce emissions on two-stroke engines. Other CARB regulations are designed to cut total emissions of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxide by 74 percent by 2010. For lawn mowers, CARB is calling for a 67-percent reduction of these emissions by 2010. Manufacturers of equipment with small engines are keeping up with the trends. Many have already either modified their two-stroke engines or replaced them with four-stroke engines that meet CARB requirements.

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For those of you who still have questions after reading the certification procedure document, you won't have to wait long to get them answered if you will be attending the International Lawn, Garden & Power Equipment Exposition (EXPO 2004). The Outdoor Power Equipment Institute (OPEI) will hold an Emission Compliance Workshop on Sept. 23, at the Kentucky Fair & Exposition Center in Louisville, Ky., in conjunction with EXPO 2004. The purpose of this workshop is the provide an overview on the proposed California Air Resource Board emissions regulations and the steps an equipment manufacturer or component supplier needs to take to sell products in California. Speakers and panels made up of representatives from manufacturers, OPEI and the California Air Resource Board will discuss various topics such as exhaust emission compliance and approval, as well as fuel lines, connectors and fuel caps. The workshop will begin at 2 p.m. in East Hall #10 and ends at 6 p.m.

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