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EPA Regulations for Recreational Boats Evaporative Emissions and Exhaust Emissions

The  ABYC publication, USCG EPA Regulations for Recreational Boats, is available.  This technical resource provides a convenient reference for the laws and regulations which govern the design and construction of boats in consideration of fuel and exhaust emissions mandated by the Environmental Protection Agency. The excerpts of the government publication contain all the amendments that were available as of the date of publication, September, 2009, and include relevant sections from the Code of Federal Regulations (CFR) Title 40, parts 1045 and 1060.

The following is required in the USA after July 31, 2013, for all boats with new gasoline engines (inboard, outboard, PWCs) must comply with the following EPA regulations:

All boats with new gasoline engines (inboard, outboard, PWCs) must comply with the following EPA regulations:

Marine Engine Exhaust Emissions:  Control of emissions of hydrocarbons (HC) , Oxides of Nitrogen (NO) and Carbon Monoxide (CO) This will require catalytic convertors on some engines.  Auxiliary marine engines, such as generators do not have to comply. This is the engine manufacturers responsibility

Marine Evaporative Emissions: This is vapor that escapes during fueling, from tanks, and through the walls of hoses. The EPA has set fuel vapor permeation limits for tanks and hoses.

Fuel Hose:
Must be low permeation not to exceed 15 g/m2 per day.
Hose from the tank to the engine marked USCG A1-15, B1-15
Outboard fuel hoses and primer bulbs.
The boat builder or dealer is responsible for compliance

Fuel Tanks:
Must be low permeation not to exceed 15 g/m
2 per day.

Diurnal Control;
Diurnal means the difference in temperature between day and night.  This results in fuel expansion and contraction which causes venting.

Applies to both permanently installed and portable tanks.

Control Methods:
vent system with a 1 PSI pressure relief valve or;
Carbon canister in the vent line.
The size of the carbon canister depends on the size of the boat.
Less than 26 ft. trailerable boats,  a canister of 0.40grams/gal/day
26 ft. or longer, or wider than 8.5 ft.(non-trailerable) 0.16 grams/gal/day.
The canister must be protected from direct contact with liquid fuel
by a vapor gap, (ullage - expansion space) in the fuel tank, or;
An external expansion tank.

An EPA compliance label is required as shown below: either a separate label or combined with the capacity label.

EPA Certification Label Capacity Label with EPA certification

NMMA Document (download) FAQs on Environmental and Regulatory Issues

EPA Regulations

EPA Manufacturer ID Codes

EPA Fees
pay Electronically at 

Boat Carbon Footprint Website

Copyright 2010 All rights reserved.  Revised 06/03/2015