California enacts gasoline lawn mower and leaf blower ban



  • Using small gasoline-powered equipment like leaf blowers and generators ends up being a lot worse for the environment than driving a car at the same time, which is why the California Air Resources Board has been pushing politicians state to take action.
  • The new law, AB 1346, will require the state to pass regulations regarding these gasoline-powered tools by July 1, 2022 and ban their sale by early 2024, if the board determines that is feasible.
  • Oh, and we have to mention: the top photo is not from California. It shows a member of the Going Commando team competing in a 12 hour endurance race with a lawn mower in England in 2018. Try it out this with an electric leaf blower.

    How dirty is the best-selling gasoline leaf blower? CARB says if you use it for an hour, it emits as much smog-forming pollution as a 2016 Toyota Camry while driving 1,100 miles. This explains why California passed a new ban on highly polluting small engines, implementing quieter, cleaner lawn jobs statewide from 2024. The new law targets small all-terrain engines (which Bill poetically calls SORE) which can be found in residential and commercial lawn and garden equipment, federally regulated construction and agricultural equipment, and other machinery such as generators.

    The new law was prompted, in part, by the efforts of the powerful California Air Resources Board (CARB), which has worked for decades to clean up the state’s air. CARB says there are nearly three million more small engines in California than light passenger cars (16.5 million versus 13.7 million). CARB argues for the need to regulate these SOREs, given that the lack of pollution control devices on machines that use SOREs emits much more pollution than a passenger car over the same period.

    CARB says that running the “best-selling commercial lawn mower” for an hour emits as much smog-forming pollution as you would driving a 2016 Toyota Camry for about 300 miles. Leaf blowers can be even worse, with the “best-selling commercial leaf blower” emitting the equivalent amount of smog-forming pollution that same Camry would do over 1,100 miles. SOREs emit high levels of nitrogen oxides (NOx), reactive organic gases (ROG) and particulate matter (PM), say the promoters of the law, all of which have a negative impact on human health.

    California Air Resources Council

    “Small gas engines are not only bad for our environment and contributing to our climate crisis, they can cause asthma and other health problems for the workers who use them,” said one of the co-workers. -sponsors of the legislation, the deputy Lorena Gonzalez, in a declaration. “It’s time to phase out these super polluters and help small landscaping companies switch to cleaner alternatives.”

    The law, AB 1346, requires the state council to “adopt cost-effective and technologically feasible regulations to ban exhaust fumes and evaporative emissions” from SOREs by July 1, 2022. The rules that will be written l next year will then apply to all engines. built from January 1, 2024 (or, if this period is deemed impossible by the Council of State, at a later date). The board will determine the technological feasibility of this rule taking into account not only the emissions of the SOREs themselves, but also the ease of purchasing zero-emission off-road equipment and any increase in demand on the road. power grid by relocating millions of external devices to the power supply.

    Similar to how the CARB has supported efforts to switch drivers to plug-in vehicles, the new law states that the state council must, “where possible”, offer trade discounts or a driving program. similar incentive to people buying new, zero-emission equipment. The bill calls for $ 30 million to be spent on incentives to help individuals and businesses purchase zero-emission machines.

    The new SORE law will not affect the sale of most gasoline-powered recreational vehicles like ATVs and dirt bikes. The official CARB definition of SORE states that they are “spark ignition engines rated at or below 19 kilowatts,” or 25 horsepower, and most off-road recreational equipment uses engines. more powerful. CARB has also regulated off-road recreational vehicles since 1994 and currently consolidates machines with engines of 25 hp or more, such as specialty vehicles and go-karts, into a “large spark-ignition” regulatory system.

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