WASHINGTON - The Environmental Protection Agency (news - web sites) on Tuesday set the first new emission standards for highway motorcycles in 25 years, and the first standards for small scooters and mopeds.
EPA said it would reduce pollution from motorcycles, which produce more harmful exhaust per mile than cars or large SUVs, by about 54,000 tons of hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides per year. Hydrocarbons react with nitrogen oxides and sunlight to form ground-level ozone, a key component of smog.
The agency said the regulations, which were proposed last year, also would save about 12 million gallons a year of gas escaping from vehicles' fuel hoses and fuel tanks.
"These new rules significantly advance pollution standards for motorcycles," EPA Administrator Mike Leavitt said.
Starting in 2006, manufacturers of highway motorcycles, small scooters and mopeds will be required to reduce emissions of those two chemicals by 60 percent by using improved technologies such as secondary air injection, electronic fuel injection systems and catalytic converters.
Starting 2008, manufacturers also will be required to better control fuel loss through fuel hoses and tanks.
The new emission controls are estimated to add about $75 to the $10,000 average cost of a motorcycle by 2010.
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