Fuel Containers - Outboard Marine Tanks

This page last reviewed July 22, 2014

On September 25, 2008 the California Air Resources Board adopted the Portable Outboard Marine Tank and Components regulation.  The regulation received final approval and became effective October 16, 2009.

Portable outboard marine tanks (OMTs) are used to supply fuel to outboard marine engines. Primarily constructed of plastic, the fuel tank is connected to the engine by use of a fuel line and a hand pump is used to prime the engine and start the flow of fuel. Because the container is constructed of plastic, it is possible for gasoline to seep through the material and permeate into ambient air.  Because of their large numbers, OMTs have the potential to create substantial hydrocarbon emissions resulting in ozone-forming smog and health related problems.

In an effort to provide clarification to the portable outboard marine tanks and components community, staff of the California Air Resources Board (CARB) wants to remind all concerned parties:

The requirement for outboard marine tanks to be sold with self-sealing caps found in the Portable Outboard Marine Tanks and Components Regulation becomes effective January 1, 2011 which is one year after the Federal requirements found in 40 CFR 1060.105(c). However, all caps that are self-sealing caps sold after January 1, 2010 are required to be certified.

Further, all certified components must include markings that indicate the date of manufacture (month, day, and year) without the need for CARB staff to contact the manufacturer. CARB staff strongly encourages manufacturers to begin marking their components prior to the effective date.

In early November ARB staff provided a preliminary reading of the OMT Regulation as it pertains to sell through. At that time our view was the Regulation allowed products to be sold after January 1, 2010 or 2011, depending on the OMT component, that were both manufactured and delivered to retail prior to the appropriate date. After further review of the Regulation language and discussions with stakeholders and other ARB staff, ARB staff reads the Regulation to allow sell through for products simply manufactured prior to the appropriate date.

The new regulations will not affect existing boat owners.  Nor will there be a requirement for consumers to replace their tanks. The new regulations will require manufacturers to develop cleaner, more durable tanks and components that produce less pollution.  As consumers replace their tanks and components, they will only be able to purchase newer, cleaner tanks and components.

The regulation requires manufacturers to produce tanks and components that comply with the following standards by the indicated dates.
Specifically manufacturers are required to:
By JANUARY 1, 2010 produce:

  • Tank caps that automatically close and seal to a minimum of 5 psig.
  • Fuel hoses that do not exceed a permeation rate of 15 grams/m2/day.

By JANUARY 1, 2011 produce:

  • Primer bulbs that do not exceed a permeation rate of 15 grams/m2/day.
  • Tanks that do not exceed an emission rate of 1.5 grams/m2/day and do not have a manuel vent.

Reports and Regulatory:

To access documents associated with the regulatory action please go to the RULEMAKING PAGE.

At this location you will find in PDF the:

as well as the ISOR (staff report), all appendices associated with the ISOR and the FSOR. Other documents associated with the OMT program are found below.

  • Test Report: Quantification of Diurnal Emissions from Portable Outboard Marine Tanks (PDF 141k)
  • 2007 California OMT Statewide Population Study (PDF 73k)
  • March 7, 2006 Stakeholders Letter (PDF 44k)