OPEA MEDIA RELEASE December 16, 2015 1:00 am
Yesterday’s announcement from the Meeting of State and Federal Environment Ministers gave the final green light for non-road spark-ignition engine emissions standards. This will bring Australia in line with the USA who lead the world in emissions standards for petrol engine equipment including lawn mowers, outboards, chain saws and generators.
The Ministers had made an “in principle” agreement at their July meeting, which started the ball rolling with a Working Group formed of industry, government and public community representatives formed to advise how best to implement standards for Australia. That report is due before the end of December.
The timetable after December is not locked in. But according to Gary Fooks, Chair of the Blue Sky Alliance and member of the working group “If we stick to the ambitious program set by Minister Hunt, that would see and Exposure Draft of the Legislation released early 2016 and the Bill introduced before June 2016. Actual commencement of the standards would depend on passage of the legislation through Parliament and industry advice on phasing-in.” All representatives of the Working Group agreed that the introduction of standards should progress to the next steps as soon as possible. The Working Group has played an important role in advising on key settings for the implementation of the standards, such as exemptions, phase-ins for certain engine categories and how to most efficiently monitor compliance across the industry.
Asked if that meant no more two stroke lawn mowers or outboards after July Gary was quick to point out “let’s be clear, these laws are not an attack on any one technology: we will still have quality two cycle technology hand held products like chainsaws, and of course Direct Injection two stroke outboards, but yes, four strokes will be the most common engine type for ground supported product in the future.”
Any phase in is likely to be limited. Existing dealer stock gets exempted as the laws should only apply to new imports. And of course no law will ban what the public already has in the garage.
OPEA has long recommended moving immediately to USA Phase 2 but delay meeting the current US standard until the existing EU standard matches the US in 2019.
Fuel system evaporative standards may be delayed until June 2017, to allow Australian tank manufacturers to develop the technology already employed in the USA
In the end, the choice will be up to the Minister to decide based on the advice he has received.
An Extract from the Ministers’ Statement:
Ministers agreed to introduce emission standards for new non-road spark ignition engines (such as garden equipment and marine outboard motors). Non-road spark ignition engines are a significant contributor to air pollution. The introduction of new standards will bring Australia into line with existing international standards, particularly those in North America. Ministers also noted that a working group of experts is on track to provide interim advice this year on implementing the standards, with the aim of introducing legislation into Federal Parliament in mid-2016.
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Ministers announce non-road engine emissions standards in 2016 July 20, 2015 12:59 am
Thursday’s (July 16) announcement by all Australian Environment Ministers confirms that Australia will adopt emissions standards for non-road engines, including marine engines, mowers, brush cutters and generators. With the final green light to be announced at the next Environment Minister’s meeting later this year, the Ministers have established a working group to draft standards and legislation by the end of 2015 “with the aim of implementing standards in the first half of 2016”.
OPEA have been working on emission standards for several years and the key elements of the proposed emissions standards have been on the table since 2010. The USA Standard has become the accepted world standard and that’s also the plan for Australia – for all non-road petrol engines up to 18kW (25Hp) . That means around half of the engines being sold today already comply.
The proposed standards also include changes to fuel systems to reduce evaporative pollutants. Fuel systems will be more complex, with low permeation tanks and hoses, backflow valves and a carbon canister on the fuel vent for large equipment – like boats. This will bring larger boats in line with car standards. Smaller systems like lawn mowers will need low permeation fuel tanks and hoses, and a tethered fuel cap.
The exact timing of regulations are yet to be decided, but the statement makes it clear that they will start in less than 12 months. What the public owns now won’t be banned and dealer stock won’t be affected – although excessive stock piling could be restricted.
The USA started emissions standards sixteen years ago with major markets following including the European Union, Switzerland, Turkey, Japan, Canada and India. China introduced small engine emissions standards in 2011.
Federal Environment Minister Greg Hunt phoned into an OPEA Board meeting earlier this year and met with the Executive in June.