California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill over the weekend that will ban the sale of gas powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers in the state.
The bill instructs the California Air Resources Board to phase out the sale of small off-road engines (SORE) by 2024 or as soon as possible.
Per the legislation, stores will only be permitted to carry zero-emission equipment — such as electric or battery powered gear.
“Currently, there are zero-emission equivalents to all SORE equipment regulated by the State Air Resources Board. The battery technology required for commercial-grade zero-emission equipment is available and many users, both commercial and residential, have already begun to transition to zero-emission equipment,” the bill states.
The bill goes on to say that small off-road engines emitted an average of 16.8 tons per day of oxides of nitrogen and 125 tons per day of reactive organic gases. It asserts that “without further regulatory action, those emission levels are expected to increase with increasing numbers of SORE in California.”
One hour of operation of a commercial leaf blower can emit as much reactive organic gases and oxides of nitrogen as driving 1,100 miles in a new passenger vehicle, the bill asserts.
The Sacramento Bee reports that “the bill’s author, Assemblyman Marc Berman, D-Menlo Park, and supporters — including the American Lung Association in California, the Sierra Club and the Union of Concerned Scientists — say that it will result in the use of cleaner and greener equipment.”
Senate GOP Leader Scott Wilk has said that this change will create hardships for gardeners and landscapers, as well as create a a market shortfall of products with high consumer demand, according to the Bee’s report.