Photo by Rustybuckets. Licensed under Creative Commons license 2.0.

Ready for more catalytic converters in your motors? Under new rules set forth by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) yesterday, many small, off-road engines that were previously allowed to cough up dark smoke to their hearts' content will be cleaned up. Under the new regulations (the Detroit News calls them "sweeping"), any 25hp or under lawn mower will need to be fitted with the catalytic converters starting in 2011. Recreational boats are also part of the new law, and will need to be in compliance in 2010.

This is good news for the air, since the EPA estimates that boat and lawn care engines cause about a quarter of the carbon monoxide emissions in the U.S. About 25 percent of the gasoline put into small engines comes out of the exhaust without being burned - and an hour-long ride on a riding mower is as dirty as 34 average cars running during that same hour - and the EPA says that these regulations will save about 190 million gallons of gasoline a year.

[Source: Detroit News]

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