Dec 10, 2021 - Energy & Environment

California to eliminate new gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers by 2024

A gas-powered leaf blower.
Photo: Sarah Dussault/MediaNews Group/The Mercury News via Getty Images

The California Air Resources Board (CARB) voted Thursday to ban the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers starting in 2024 and portable generators by 2028 in an effort to reduce harmful pollutants.

Why it matters: Gas-powered equipment produces more smog-forming emissions than light-duty passenger cars, according to the Board's statement, and is projected to produce nearly twice as much as passenger cars by 2031.

The big picture: The CARB believes that battery technology will improve and zero-emission gear will become more available before 2024 when the ban kicks in, the Los Angeles Times writes.

  • The rule, which impacts both homeowners and commercial landscapers, does not ban existing gas-powered equipment which can continue to be used.
  • Reducing emissions will prevent hundreds of premature deaths as well as lower healthcare costs, according to the CARB's statement.
  • The regulation follows Gov. Gavin Newsom's executive order which aims to move California closer to a zero-emission future.

What they're saying: "It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB chair Liane Randolph said in a statement.

But, but, but: Gardners and landscapers raised concerns about the costs to buy the equipment.

  • State Democratic Assemblymember Marc Berman, who wrote the legislation, said California has set aside $30 million to help professional landscapers and gardeners transition from gas-powered to zero-emission equipment, according to the LA Times.
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