Why Connecticut Won’t Ban Gasoline Lawn Equipment


As the roar of leaf blowers peaks in Connecticut as foliage peak season approaches, a lawmaker said he expected no change here after California ordered a ban on foliage. gas lawn equipment in favor of battery-powered alternatives.

California Governor Gavin Newsom enacted the law last week a bill that will prohibit the purchase of many small internal combustion engines, including those used for lawn equipment such as mowers and leaf blowers.

California law goes into effect as early as January 2024, giving homeowners and lawn businesses just over two years to order electrical replacements. Considering the state’s huge population, this could restrict purchases of such equipment nationwide.

Connecticut and California are often ahead of other states in implementing regulations to reduce emissions. But Representative Joe Gresko, D-Stratford, told Hearst Connecticut Media that the environment committee he co-chairs has no plans to pass new law restricting the use of small engines.

“The environment committee encourages municipalities to explore and put in place their own rules regarding small gasoline tools,” Gresko said in an email. “Connecticut has diverse areas and a comprehensive policy would not be well received in rural and urban areas.”

Norwalk and Greenwich are on a short list of municipalities that have set limits on certain gas-powered equipment, given the high levels of pollution and noise they emit.

And the State Department of Energy and Environmental Protection a decade ago launched a $ 550,000 exchange program called LEEF – an acronym for Lawn Equipment Exchange Fund – to encourage municipalities to buy lawn mowers for newer models that pollute less. More than 900 pieces of equipment were exchanged.

“The emissions from these engines are a concern for DEEP as they contribute to local impacts on air quality, as they tend to operate on days when the air quality is already impaired,” the carrier said. word of DEEP, Will Healey, via email.

But landscaping companies have reservations about the capabilities of some of the battery-powered equipment on the market, including Shayne Newman of Yardscapes Landscape Professionals who described his company’s experience recently trying out a 25,000 riding mower. $ with an electric motor.

“He said the battery lasted 10 hours – but it only lasted three hours when we demonstrated it,” Newman said. “The main battery costs $ 2,500. Hopefully the technology will get there, but it’s still a few years away. “

Connecticut is home to one of the leading manufacturers of electrical equipment, Stanley Black & Decker, which purchased the Craftsman line of equipment from bankrupt Sears Holdings in 2017. Stanley Black & Decker is now in the process of acquiring MTD Products and its Cub Cadet and Troy-Bilt lines of electrical equipment.

The New Britain-based company has a long history of selling string trimmers, blowers and other battery-powered equipment.

“We are currently reviewing the details of the new bill signed in California last weekend,” said Deborah Raymond, spokesperson for Stanley Black. “Stanley Black & Decker has a strong portfolio of world-class batteries and electrical products for the lawn and garden, available through our brand portfolio. We will continue our investment in electrification with the launch of new battery powered products each year. “

Includes previous reports by Ed Stannard.

Editor’s Note: An earlier version of this story said that California law would ban the use of certain small internal combustion engines. The law restricts the purchase of these engines.

[email protected]; 203-842-2545; @casoulman


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