Cleaner Snowmobile Technology Reasons to Change
Clean Snowmobiles: Reasons for Change
High emission levels from snowmobiles have been widely publicized over the
past few years. Some believe that snowmobile emissions are too high and must
be reduced. The United States Environmental Protection Agency released draft
snowmobile emission standards in September 2001 by court order.
The Department of Interior, National Park Service and Department of Agriculture,
United States Forest Service have expressed serious concerns that snowmobile
use has not complied with all federal codes, regulations, and executive orders.
These agencies are taking action to re-write the rules in the Code of Federal
Register regarding snowmobile use to comply with the existing rules and laws.
However, as a result of a court settlement, the National Park Service is conducting
a Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement to consider newer, cleaner technology
with a draft due to the public in December 2001, and a final record of decision
in November 2002.
Cleaner, Quieter Snowmobiles
Access to existing snowmobile trails and public lands will be protected
if snowmobile pollution is reduced.
Snowmobilers will have a more pleasant riding experience if their exposure
to snowmobile exhaust emissions is decreased. They are currently exposed
to significant levels of pollution from their own vehicles.
Rental operators may attract new customers by offering cleaner, quieter
snowmobiles for rent. Many people who would otherwise enjoy snowmobiling
choose not to ride because they find the fumes and sound levels offensive.
|Snowmobile rental operators and outfitters
who use ethanol-blend and low-emissions lube oil have cut maintenance by
at least 60 percent, and have gotten a higher resale on the machines due
to cleaner engines and less engine wear. Three-season long demonstration
projects have shown that use of these products increases engine life, reduces
fuel consumption, and increases power by at least five percent. Rental operators
and personal use snowmobilers who use the newer technology and four-stroke
machines will save money because of the increase in fuel economy from the
9 to 13 mile per gallon average to the 25 to 35 miles per gallon observed
in small fleets (of 50 new four-stroke snowmobiles).
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