California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a bill into law on Saturday that will phase out the sale of gas-powered leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other small off-road engines by as soon as 2024.
Assembly Bill 1346 directs the California Air Resources Board to phase out the sale of small off-road engines by 2024 or as soon as feasible, whichever comes later. The new law also directs the board to identify and make available, where feasible, funding for commercial rebates to go toward the purchase of electric equipment.
Newsom’s signature comes a year after he signed an executive order phasing out the sale of gas-powered vehicles by 2035.
Under the new law, retailers will be limited to selling zero-emission equipment, such as electric- or battery-powered gear as part of an effort to cut down on emissions.
An hour’s use of a gas-powered leaf blower produces the same amount of emissions as driving from Los Angeles to Denver, according to the Air Resources Board.
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.
Berman’s bill comes as part of a state effort to cut down on air pollution. One hour of gas-powered leaf blower use is equivalent in emissions to a vehicle driving 1,100 miles from Los Angeles to Denver, according to the Air Resources Board.
Critics of the bill-turned-law — including Senate GOP Leader Scott Wilk, R-Santa Clarita, and the Outdoor Power Equipment Institute — said that it will impose a hardship on landscapers and gardeners, as well as creating a market shortfall of products with high consumer demand.
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