EPA plans to tighten rules for PWC and other small engine emissions

On Tuesday, the government proposed tighter pollution rules on small engines, including personal watercraft, which could result in the widespread use of catalytic converters on powered consumer products ranging from lawn mowers to boats.

The proposed rule aims to cut hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emissions by 35 percent from what today’s standards allow for small engines.

The next step is a comment period, which ends Aug. 3. If the EPA adopts the rule as proposed, it could start taking effect for outboard engines and personal watercraft as early as 2009. It applies to engines with less than 50hp.

Costs of the new rule could add up to $360 for a personal watercraft, the EPA said.

These proposed rules would have little, if any, effect on all-terrain vehicles and snowmobiles.

Personal watercraft can emit as much pollution as 348 cars, the EPA said.

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