United States                Air and Radiation           EPA420-F-01-024
 Environmental Protection                              September 2001

 Office of Transportation and Air Quality

In September 2001, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
published a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking (NPRM) to     public
comment on our plan to propose more stringent emission standards for
engines on equipment including forklifts and generators, and vehicles
including snowmobiles, off-highway motorcycles and A TVs, and
recreational marine boats. This information sheet addresses common
questions we have heard from concerned snowmobile owners.
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Our analysis shows that snowmobiles emit more than 200,000 tons of
hydrocarbons (HC) and 531,000 tons of carbon monoxide (CO) each
year across the United States.  These emissions contribute to ambient
concentrations of CO, air toxics, and fine particulate matter which is
largely responsible for visibility impairment at our national parks.
Emissions from snowmobiles contain toxic compounds such as benzene.
Reducing these emissions would benefit our health and environment.
The Clean Air Act requires us to set emission standards that address
these problems.  These impacts are described in more detail in "FAQ:
Environmental Impacts of Recreational Vehicles and Other Nonroad
Engines" [EPA420-F-01-030].
                                               i Printed on Recycled Paper

No.  Snowmobile manufacturers must ensure each new snowmobile sold
meets our regulations.  The proposed regulations would apply only to
new snowmobiles produced after a specified model year. Anything
manufactured before that model year would not be affected and would
remain legal to own and operate. We usually allow several years of lead
time between publication of a final rule and the effective date of new
standards. Thus, new standards for snowmobiles won't affect the snow-
mobile you bought before this year or any snowmobile you buy for the
next several years.
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You may not disable any emission controls installed on your snowmo-
bile to meet our regulations. Manufacturers will explain in their owner's
manual what type of emission controls exist for each model, and may
specify some minor maintenance you must have done to keep emission
controls working properly over the life of the snowmobile. You may
also make adjustments specified by manufacturers in the owner's
manual, such as carburetor jetting changes, to account for changing
operating conditions.
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We are proposing standards that manufacturers would meet on an aver-
age basis, which will allow them to offer a wide range of technologies to
their customers. We expect manufacturers to meet emission standards
mainly by improving engine and fuel systems for some models.  Some
manufacturers will likely use direct fuel injection with some of their two-
stroke engines, much like the latest models of personal watercraft and
outboard engines.  We also expect manufacturers to increase the number
of snowmobiles that use four-stroke engines.
We estimate that the range of costs for meeting the proposed regulations
to be about $50 for a modified two-stroke engine, $300 for direct-injec-
tion technology, and up to $900 for a four-stroke engine with fuel injec-
tion. However, direct-injection  and four-stroke technologies reduce fuel
and oil consumption, offsetting the expected additional cost of emission

We don't expect the controls to harm performance or safety. Manufac-
turers have made many advancements in snowmobile designs over the
last few years and will have several years of lead-time to perfect designs.
Engine modifications and fuel system advancements should allow similar
or better performance to your current snowmobile.  Direct fuel injection
could provide improved performance over today's snowmobiles that use
a carburetor. Four-stroke engines also have the ability to provide similar
performance your current snowmobile with a two-stroke engine.  None
of the emission controls manufacturers are  considering affect safety.
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No. The proposed regulations don't restrict your use. They cover only
the exhaust emissions from your new snowmobile.
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We are not proposing any noise regulations. Most snowmobile manufac-
turers design snowmobiles that already meet voluntary noise standards
for snowmobiles.  But we do ask for comment on whether we should
establish mandatory noise standards.
              I get        information?
Keep an eye on the EPA recreational vehicle web page (http://
www.epa.gov/otaq/recveh.htm) for more information and any develop-
ments.  You may submit comments on the issues raised in this fact sheet
or in the NPRM by sending an email to nranprm@epa.gov.

For further information, please contact Line Wehrly at:

U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
Office of Transportation and Air Quality
2000 Traverwood Drive
Ann Arbor,  MI 48105