California passes bill banning the sale of gas powered generators and landscaping equipment

California environmental regulators have set a date to stop the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers, the latest move in the state’s efforts to address pollution and reduce emissions.

The California Air Resources Board on Thursday voted to require that new, small off-road engines, such as the ones found in leaf blowers and lawn mowers meet zero-emission standards starting in 2024. In addition, portable generators, including those found in recreational vehicles, must be zero-emission by 2028.

“Today’s action by the Board addresses these small but highly polluting engines. It is a significant step towards improving air quality in the state, and will definitely help us meet stringent federal air quality standards,” CARB Chair Liane Randolph said in a statement. “It will also essentially eliminate exposure to harmful fumes for equipment operators and anyone nearby.”

Richard Corey, executive director of the agency, told the board that the ban will provide significant health benefits for Californians, including those in low-income neighborhoods and communities of color, which tend to experience the highest exposure to pollutants.

Environmental and public health advocates praised the new regulations, saying transitioning to zero-emission landscaping equipment and generators will not only reduce pollution but protect the health of landscaping workers, homeowners and tenants who are exposed to gas and oil fumes.

“The new sales will start to make this transition to what’s much cleaner as well as quieter equipment,” said Bill Magavern of the Coalition for Clean Air. “That’s going to be a major health improvement for the workers who use the equipment and for residents who are exposed, as well as everybody in the region because smog is really a regional problem.”

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