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n January 2012, the United States Department of the Inte-
rior, National Park Service distributed a memorandum to
all regional directors. The memorandum issues new require-
ments for reducing the potential for carbon monoxide (CO)
poisoning at concessioner boat-rental and marina opera-
The National Park Service (NPS) Division of Risk Manage-
ment conducted a comprehensive risk assessment evaluat-
ing potential CO hazards associated with recreational boat-
ing activities in parks. Though the assessment found that
parks and concessioners have conscien-
tiously taken various safety education and
engineering measures to help mitigate CO
exposure for park visitors and employees,
CO poisoning continues to be a risk and a
more comprehensive service-wide ap-
proach is appropriate.
The National Park Service has instituted
new requirements, including compliance
with ABYC standards for all future con-
tracts awarded after March 12, 2012 for
concession operations:
1. Concession rental vessels with gaso-
line-powered generators must be
retrofitted with vertical stack exhaust
systems that extend at least nine
feet above the upper deck of the ves-
sel, in compliance with the American Boat and Yacht
Council (ABYC) ABYC Standard P-1,
Installation of Ex-
haust Systems for Propulsion and Auxiliary Machinery
or have installed other technology that reduces CO ex-
posure and is approved by NPS.
2. Must present a phase-in plan to convert by 2015:
a. outboards to either direct injected two-stroke or
four-stroke low emission outboards;
b. sterndrive/inboards to catalyzed low-CO-emitting
engines; and
c. generators to catalyzed low-CO-emitting units.
All newly purchased boats must have this equipment
at the time they are put in service. These engines
(outboards, sterndrive/inboards, and generators) must
be installed in compliance with the ABYC Standard P-1.
3. For existing contracts, concessioners should be urged
to voluntarily take actions to reduce CO exposure on
their rental vessels as aggressively as possible.
4. For new and existing concessions contracts, rental v
sels must be equipped with a CO detection system t
complies with ABYC Standard A-24
Carbon Monoxid
Detection Systems
, if they have an enclosed accom
dation compartment and either a gasoline-powered
generator or an inboard gasoline propulsion engine.
5. For new and existing contracts involving motor boat
rental or marina operations, the concessioner must
provide signs about the dangers of CO and how to p
vent poisoning on vessels and around the marina.
Rental vessel signage must comp
with ABYC Standard T-5,
Safety Si
and Labels
, ABYC Technical Infor
tion Report TH-23,
Design, Constr
tion, and Testing of Boats in Consi
eration of Carbon Monoxide: Labe
and Warnings
. Information must
placed according to the guidance
included in ABYC Technical Infor
tion Report in TH-22,
Information About Carbon Monoxi
Safety and Warning Labels
6. For new and existing contracts in-
volving motor boat rental operatio
CO poisoning must be addressed i
all motor boat safety briefings an
Vessel Operating Manuals for cus-
tomers. Concessioners must use
park-approved language in these information mater
als. At minimum this should include the National M
rine Manufacturers Association (NMMA)
Know More
About It
, brochure on carbon monoxide poisoning, o
equivalent U.S. Coast Guard approved documentati
7. For all new and existing contracts for marinas with
tor boats, concessioners must provide CO hazard inf
mation to slip holders (e.g., annual slip rental pack-
ages). This should consist of, at a minimum, the NM
Know More About It
, brochure on carbon monoxide
poisoning or equivalent U.S. Coast Guard approved
Requirements to Comply with ABYC
Standards For Exhaust Emissions