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Personal Watercraft Industry Association: Izaak Walton Report Untrue And Misleading.

WASHINGTON, July 26 /PRNewswire/ -- A recently released report by the Izaak Walton League of America contains dozens of demonstrably false and misleading statements about personal watercraft (PWC), according to the Personal Watercraft Industry Association (PWIA).

"This report is the epitome of yellow journalism," says PWIA Executive Director Larry Lambrose. "The authors went to unbelievable lengths to present a very biased viewpoint. They overlooked independent information from the National Transportation Safety Board, U.S. Coast Guard, Environmental Protection Agency, California Air Resource Board and others that clearly refute many of their claims. In some instances, they used seriously outdated information. Even worse, they presented statistical information as applying to the personal watercraft industry, when it really reflects data from the entire marine industry. A tremendous disservice to the public has been done."

According to Lambrose, one of the most blatantly false statements in the report's executive summary asserts that PWC spill or leak more oil into waters each year than the Exxon Valdez accident. "While this makes for a good soundbite, it is clearly science fiction and not based on any factual information," explains Lambrose. "In fact, on page 6 of the Izaak Walton report, the authors clearly refute their own outrageous claim by stating that PWC don't leak or spill oil."

In addition, recent independent research by the EPA and the California Air Resources Board also state quite clearly that the majority of PWC emissions are not oil, but rather hydrocarbons that evaporate quickly.

Lambrose notes that the "expert source" for the oil spill claim cited by the report's authors is a little-known book that contains decade-old estimates of hydrocarbon exhaust emissions of all two-stroke boat engines in the United States. The book does not mention, let alone estimate the exhaust emissions of, personal watercraft. Yet, the authors of the Izaak Walton League report falsely attribute total estimated volume of all boat exhaust emissions to PWC alone.

"Many Izaak Walton League members have fishing boats which have two-stroke engines similar to personal watercraft engines," observes Lambrose. "It is apparent that the Izaak Walton League hoped to avoid attacking the reputation of these boats by unfairly attributing all marine engine emissions to personal watercraft, despite the fact that the new generation of personal watercraft are some of the most environmentally friendly boats on the water."

The Izaak Walton report authors also did not put PWC hydrocarbon emissions into perspective. The EPA determined that emissions from automobiles account for 33 percent of total emissions nationwide. Emissions from boat engines in the U.S. amounted to only three percent of total hydrocarbon emissions. PWC- specific hydrocarbon emissions account for much less than one percent (0.3 percent).

The Izaak Walton League also fails to report the marine industry's cooperation with the EPA in its 1996 regulations to reduce marine hydrocarbon emissions even further. Even though marine emissions are only three percent of the total, the marine industry has invested billions of dollars to reduce hydrocarbon emissions by 75 percent by the year 2006. The marine industry is achieving about the same reduction in emissions in 10 years as the auto industry took over 25 years to achieve. Even more significant is the fact that some PWC manufacturers already comply with the EPA's most stringent hydrocarbon emission standards that are not required until 2006.

"The fact that this report was written without any attempt to clarify facts with personal watercraft and boating industry representatives speaks volumes about the authors' motivations," notes Lambrose. "All of the false assumptions could have been easily corrected had the Izaak Walton League contacted the National Marine Manufacturers Association or us."

A point-by-point rebuttal of the Izaak Walton League report is available from the Personal Watercraft Industry Association, 1819 L Street NW, Suite 700, Washington, DC 20036, and (202) 721-1620.

The Personal Watercraft Industry Association was formed in 1987 as an affiliate of the National Marine Manufacturers Association. It was created to promote safe and responsible operation of PWC, and to work with federal, state, and local agencies that have regulatory responsibilities for recreational boating. Manufacturing members of PWIA include: Arctic Cat, Inc.; Bombardier Recreational Products; Kawasaki Motors Corp., U.S.A.; Polaris Industries Inc., and Yamaha Motor Corp., U.S.A.
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Publication:PR Newswire
Date:Jul 26, 1999
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