California Governor Gavin Newsome has signed legislation banning the sale of petrol-powered gardening equipment such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers by 2024.
Among a suite of more than 30 bills sitting on his desk following his success in beating off a gubernatorial “recall” election, was a bill that will direct the state to implement regulations by mid-2022 to ban the sale of petrol-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and whipper-snippers by January 1, 2024.
The bill, AB 1346, was introduced by two Democrats and was passed by the California Legislature in early September. The bill, now signed into law, requires the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to set emissions requirements for small off-road engines to zero by 2024, or whenever CARB determines is feasible.
“Leaf blowers, lawn mowers, and other equipment with small gas-powered engines emit staggering levels of air pollution,” said Democrat Marc Berman, one of the sponsors of the bill.
“These noisy machines are terribly disruptive to communities across California, and the workers who breathe in exhaust from this equipment day in and day out face disproportionate health risks, including asthma, cardiovascular disease, and cancer.
“To ensure an equitable transition to safer, cleaner equipment, we secured $30 million in the state budget to help small businesses purchase zero-emission replacements.”
Berman says that operating the best-selling gas-powered commercial leaf blower for one hour emits air pollutants comparable to driving a 2017 Toyota Camry from Los Angeles to Denver. These pollutants include “oxides of nitrogen (NOx), reactive organic gases (ROG), and particulate matter (PM).
Of course, not everyone was pleased with AB 1346 passing the legislature.
In a Tweet responding to the bill’s passage through the legislature in September, state Senate Republican Leader Scott Wilk claimed that new gas powered leaf blowers & mowers were not “super polluters” at all, and claimed instead that “massive wildfires fueled by poor forest management sure are”.”
Bad Dem bill #AB1346 makes life harder for landscapers.
Banning the sale of new gas powered leaf blowers & mowers?
They’re not “super polluters,” but massive wildfires fueled by poor forest management sure are.
Why not address those instead of picking on the little guy? pic.twitter.com/oOmCJ3AwZe
— Scott Wilk (@ScottWilkCA) September 9, 2021