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Gasoline-powered boat engines manufactured in a North American country prior to 2000 contribute significantly to the pollution found in the world’s oceans. In 2000, however, the government imposed stricter pollution controls on gasoline engines manufactured for boats, and beginning in 2005, the government imposed a program of inspections for pre-2000 boat engines with increasingly rigorous pollution standards. As the older boat engines fail to pass inspection, boat owners are increasingly retiring their old engines in favor of newer, less-polluting boat engines. As a result, the amount of pollution these older boat engines emit into the world’s oceans will steadily decrease over the next ten years.
Which one of the following statements, if true, most seriously undermines the argument?