Plans to update EU type approval rules and emission limits for internal combustion engines in non-road mobile machinery (NRMM), such as lawn mowers, bulldozers, diesel locomotives and inland waterway vessels, were backed by the Environment Committee on Wednesday. These plans had already been agreed with the Dutch Presidency of the Council. NRMM engines account for about 15% of all NOx and 5% of particulate emissions in the EU.
"I believe we succeeded in striking the right balance here. We tighten the limits proposed by the EU Commission even further for many power ranges, but we keep the approach reasonable enough so that the industry can comply within short time, which is the most important goal", said lead MEP Elisabetta Gardini (EPP, IT).
"The agreement also allows some more time for the small and medium sized companies to cope with the new requirements. This is in line with the 'Think Small First' principle, which has guided EU institutional work for years", she added.
The plans include a new in-service engine performance monitoring system which should close the current gap between laboratory emission test figures and those measured in the real world.
As advocated by MEPs, the EU Commission will have to assess the possibility of laying down harmonised measures for retrofitting emission control devices to engines. MEPs also won a review clause, with a view to achieving further emission reductions.
In September 2014, the EU Commission tabled a proposal for a regulation that would update and replace rules laid down in NRMM Directive 97/68/ which no longer reflects the current state of technology.
The new NRMM regulation will cover all kinds of combustion engines, used for example in small handheld equipment, generating sets, harvesting and agricultural machinery, construction machinery (such as. cranes) railcars and locomotives, and inland waterway vessels,). These engines will have to meet the same requirements regardless of their fuels, in order to boost innovation in the sector.
The provisional agreement was approved by 56 votes in favour and none against, with 3 abstentions. It will be put to a vote by the full House at the July plenary session in Strasbourg.