EU bears down on machinery emissions

Preparations underway for stricter diesel engine limits as council finalises petrol engine controls

EU-wide controls on air pollution from off-road petrol machines have been cleared to take effect under a directive finalised by EU environment ministers last week. Meanwhile, the European Commission is to propose within months a strengthening of existing emission limits for diesel-engined machinery.

The directive agreed last week expands the EU's 1998 non-road mobile machinery directive from diesel engines to also cover petrol-engined equipment ranging from lawnmowers and chain saws to trimmers, cutters and generating sets. Worldwide some 25m such machines are produced annually. In the EU they contribute 10-15% of all volatile organic compounds (VOCs), thus contributing significantly to ozone pollution.

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