Beginning today a new carbon monoxide law dealing with boats and biodiesel standard goes into effect.  Sophia's Law is named after a 7 year old who died from carbon monoxide poisoning on her family's boat.  Minnesota is the first state in the nation to require carbon monoxide detectors and warning stickers on certain boats.  The detectors must be installed in recreational motorboats with a sleeping accommodation, galley with sink and toilet.

For all gasoline-powered boats with an enclosed occupancy compartment, three carbon monoxide warning stickers will be required.  I stopped by Lacanne's Marine in Faribault and they didn't have any of those larger boats but can order one for folks.  The popular boats they sell are fishing boats that don't have the sleeping area but they were certainly familiar with the law.

Sophia Baechler of Edina went on an end of season cruise with her family on Lake Minnetonka in 2015 and went below deck to take a nap.  After 10 minutes she succumbed to carbon monoxide poisoning.

Also beginning today Minnesota becomes the first state in the nation to require a 20 percent biodiesel blend in a majority of diesel fuel sold in the state.  Officials say the cleaner burning biodiesel is expected to displace an estimated 130 million gallons of petroleum diesel.  It's also expected to eliminate 132 tons of particulate pollution and prevent over 960,000 tons of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new law requires switching to a five percent blend during cold weather months.

Open Water Near Faribault. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld
Open Water Near Faribault. Photo by Gordy Kosfeld

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