More than 100 municipalities, cities, and states are transitioning away from the use of gas-powered lawn equipment in some way! Much of this work is centered around gas-powered leaf blowers, which are the most polluting and harmful type of machines. You can read more about the climate and air pollution produced by gas-powered lawn equipment in Pennsylvania in our new report Lawn Care Goes Electric.
There are lots of options for policies to reduce harmful pollution and noise from highly polluting gas-powered lawn and garden equipment. Here are a few options:
- Tax credits to reduce the effective price of electric equipment
- Example: In 2023, Colorado passed a state law which applies a 30% immediate discount for consumers on electric lawn equipment at participating retailers, a 33% tax credit goes to retailers.
- Local noise ordinance to restrict use of certain equipment
- Portland, OR regulates the use of leaf blowers above a certain decibel level (65 dB or 70 dB), depending on the time of year.
- Restrictions on the sale and/or use of certain gas-powered equipment
- Maplewood, NJ prohibits the use of gas-powered leaf blowers.
- Montgomery County, MD is banning the sale AND use of gas-powered leaf blowers and leaf vacuums.
- The District of Columbia’s gas leaf blower ban went into effect January 2022. It bans the sale AND use of any gas-powered leaf blowers in the District, as well as bans the sale AND use of any leaf blower with an average sound over 70 dB at 50 ft.
- Government commitment to lead the way in transitioning to electric equipment
- Colorado announced an executive order in September 2023 that gas-powered push mowers and handheld equipment under 25 horsepower will be phased out at state facilities within Colorado area with the highest ozone pollution by June 1, 2025.
- Funding to help switch to electric equipment
- Clark County REMC, a utility co-op in Indiana, offers customers a rebate of up to $50 to purchase electric lawn equipment
This list of options and examples is definitely not exhaustive – there are many ways that towns, cities, and states can start to phase out these dangerous polluting machines! If you are interested in doing this work in your town, reach out to our Climate and Clean Energy Associate Ellie Kerns at [email protected].