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New legislation for improved air quality

New legislation for improved air quality

August 10, 2017

The Turnbull Government has today (10 August 2017) introduced new legislation to help improve Australia’s air quality.

The Product Emissions Standards Bill will allow new product emissions standards to be established on small spark engines (non-road), bringing us into line with the US, Canada and Europe.

Currently emissions from these engines are not regulated in Australia, leaving Australia as a dumping ground for less efficient products that cannot be sold in other countries.

The standards will be phased in over two years and reduce noxious air pollution from petrol-powered outdoor equipment and marine outboards which release high amounts of harmful air pollutants. For example, a two-stroke leaf blower can produce the same amount of hydrocarbons as 150 cars, while on summer weekends in cities where the use of garden equipment is high, small petrol engines can contribute up to 10 per cent of air pollution.

Following extensive consultation with key stakeholders, the new emissions standards will strengthen Australia’s capacity to manage air quality nationally and deliver an estimated $1.72 billion in avoided health costs over a 20 year period.

The Turnbull Government is also providing $1 million funding to support surf life saving clubs upgrade to cleaner outboard engines that meet the new emissions standards.

The Department of the Environment and Energy has partnered with Surf Life Saving Australia to deliver grants of up to $1,000 per clean outboard engine over the next four years to support this important organisation and its clubs across Australia.

In a separate press release by Honda Marine, it indicated that the bill will cover any petrol (Spark Ignition) engine — outboards, inboards, and PWC’s.

“The Information paper published last December spelled out the details and timings so industry could get ready” advised Gary Fooks, chair of the cross industry Blue Sky Alliance. “This means industry has had 30 months to finish up the sales of high emission engines. Exemptions for small engines was never an idea that would carry water. With a Carbureted 8hp two stroke pushing out 59% more emissions per hour than a 150hp four stroke, exemptions were never viable. And to be fair, these emissions standards will also target mowers, generators, chain saws and brushcutters – all below 25hp.”


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