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California’s Governor Gavin Newsom signed in the weekend legislation that would ban from 2024 the sale of new gasoline-powered landscape equipment with small off-road engines such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers, in another move to reduce emissions.
According to the new law, all sales of new small off-road engines equipment should be zero-emission as of 2024 or as soon as the California Air Resources Board says it could be done, Los Angeles Times reports.
The legislation introduced by assembly member Marc Berman notes that in 2020, daily emissions of oxides of nitrogen (NOx) and reactive organic gases (ROG) from small off-road engines in California were higher than emissions from light-duty passenger cars.
An hour of using a gas lawn mower equals to driving 300 miles from Los Angeles to Las Vegas, while an hour of leaf blower use is equivalent to driving 1,100 miles from Los Angeles to Denver, as per estimates from the California Air Resources Board.
The authors of the legislation argue this would be a step to limit the massive amount of emissions from gas-powered landscape equipment, but professional associations of landscapers say that zero-emission lawnmowers and other equipment are much more expensive and less efficient.
A gas-powered commercial riding lawn mower typically costs between $7,000 and $11,000, but its equivalent with zero emissions costs more than twice as much, Andrew Bray, vice president of government relations for the National Association of Landscape Professionals (NALP) told Los Angeles Times.
California plans to allocate $30 million to help landscape professionals move to battery-powered or plug-in equipment, but this wouldn’t be enough for around 50,000 small businesses that would be hit by the new law, Bray told the newspaper.
A ban on sales of new gas lawn equipment is California’s latest move to restrict the use of gasoline in the state after banning in September 2020 sales of new passenger vehicles with internal combustion engines from 2035 in the push towards a cleaner energy future.
By Charles Kennedy for Oilprice.com
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Charles is a writer for Oilprice.com