- California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law Saturday for a future ban on gas-powered lawn equipment.
- The state will offer rebates to people who switch to zero-emission electronic lawn tools.
- It has set aside $30 million to help professional gardeners and landscapers make the switch.
California Governor Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law Saturday that could ban gas-powered lawn equipment, such as lawn mowers and leaf blowers, as soon as 2024.
The bill adds a section to the air pollution part of California’s health and safety code, and will also offer some rebates for switching to zero-emission electronic lawn tools. The bill’s author told The Los Angeles Times the state was setting aside $30 million to help professional gardeners and landscapers switch to electric equipment.
According to the bill, small off-road engines, which it describes as being used “primarily in lawn and garden equipment,” emit lots of air pollution.
The Los Angeles Times reported that gas-powered chain saws, weed trimmers, and golf carts are all affected by the new law.
“This is a pretty modest approach to trying to limit the massive amounts of pollution that this equipment emits, not to mention the health impact on the workers who are using it constantly,” the author of the bill, Assemblyman Marc Berman, told The Los Angeles Times.
The Associated Press reported there are more than 16.7 million small engines in California at the moment — 3 million more than the number of passenger cars on the road in the state.
The bill also stipulates portable generators must be zero-emission by 2028.
The bill is set to come into force on January 1, 2024, or as soon as is “feasible,” whichever comes later.
In 2019 the American Lung Association (ALA) ranked California as the worst US state for air pollution. In September 2020, following a string of wildfires, the US West Coast temporarily had the worst air quality on Earth.