The Environmental Protection Agency has already clamped down on hydrocarbon emissions from fuel tanks on small engines for boats, all-terrain vehicles and lawn-care equipment. More changes are coming — and plastics processors need to think ahead, said Ken Carter of Deere & Co.
“You've got to look forward to be competitive. If you don't change, you're going to be left behind,” he said at the conference of the SPE Rotational Molding Division, held May 6-9 in Cleveland. Carter is staff polymers engineer at Deere's technology and innovation center in Moline, Ill.
Regulators are looking beyond just the fuel tank to the complete system, including the gas cap, fuel lines, pump, seals and carbon canisters, Carter said.
California's aggressive emissions standards set the national trend, through the California Air Resources Board, and CARB just issued plans for more-stringent rules for boats, motorcycles and ATVs.
“Industry doesn't have much time to react. Be prepared,” he said. New biodiesel fuel and higher ethanol content in gasoline also will affect engine-system emissions, he added.