CA decides to end the sale of gasoline lawn mowers and leaf blowers

California may soon ban the sale of gasoline-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers under a bill the legislature passed and sent to Gov. Gavin Newsom on Thursday.

Assembly Bill 1346 would order the California Air Resources Board to phase out the sale of “small all-terrain engines” by 2024, or as soon as the board deems possible, whichever is later.

The bill also requires the Air Resources Board to identify and make available, to the extent possible, funds for trade discounts or similar incentive funding.

The author of the bill, MP Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, tweeted wednesday that the state will spend $ 30 million “to help gardeners switch to cleaner, greener equipment.”

Berman’s bill is part of a state effort to reduce air pollution. One hour of using a gasoline-powered leaf blower is equivalent to the emissions of a vehicle traveling 1,100 miles from Los Angeles to Denver, according to the Air Resources Board.

“Gallon for gallon, these engines pollute at a significantly higher rate than other equipment and vehicles,” Berman said when introducing the bill earlier this year.

The bill was supported by a coalition of groups, including the American Lung Association in California, the Sierra Club California, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

“There are zero-emission equivalents to all of them (small all-terrain engines) that are regulated by the California Air Resources Board, usually electric alternatives that run on batteries or plug into an outlet. Many users, including more than half of home users, have already started the transition to zero-emission equipment, ”the coalition said in a statement supporting the bill.

The bill was opposed by several Republican lawmakers, such as GOP Senate Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, who tweeted Wednedsay that AB 1346 is a bad bill that “makes life more difficult for landscapers”.

“Ban the sale of new gasoline blowers and mowers? They are not “super polluters”, but massive forest fires fueled by poor forest management certainly are. Why not take care of it instead of going after the little guy? Wilk tweeted.

The bill also encountered opposition from the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute, which said in a statement that the bill “would pose many technological, economic and implementation challenges for stakeholders in the industry. ‘industry. Collectively, these challenges are insurmountable and will cause significant hardship for manufacturers, retailers and end users, resulting in an early shortage of products in the market with high consumer needs and demand. “

This story was originally published September 9, 2021 2:22 pm.

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Andrew Sheeler covers California’s unique political climate for the Sacramento Bee. He covered crime and politics from the interior of Alaska to the oil fields of North Dakota to the rugged coast of southern Oregon. He attended the University of Alaska Fairbanks.

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