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California becomes first state to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment


California is now the first state to phase out leaf blowers and gasoline lawn mowers, in an effort to reduce the pollution that forms smog in the state.

Governor Gavin Newsom signed the bill on Monday, marking the beginning of the end of small gasoline all-terrain engines, also known as SORE.

The bill, introduced by Democratic Assembly members Marc Berman and Lorena Gonzalez, is just one of the steps California is taking to phase out the use of gas.

Newsom also signed a decree from last year which forces California to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered passenger cars and trucks from 2035. The governor’s office stressed that it will still be legal to own or sell a used gasoline vehicle, but the California Air Resources Board will develop regulations to meet the deadlines.

Berman and Gonzalez raised $ 30 million in the state budget to create a statewide incentive program to help landscaping companies switch to zero-emission equipment and to meet the 2024 deadline.

The bill will also require the California Air Resources Board to set emissions requirements for small all-terrain engines to zero by 2024 or whenever the board determines that is feasible.

According to a press release from Berman’s office, SORE equipment gives off high levels of nitrogen oxides, reactive organic gases and particulates, which have a negative impact on human health. These gases can cause lung cancer, heart disease, stroke, asthma and other respiratory conditions.

Operators of gasoline-powered devices could also potentially double their current cancer risk from volatile organic compounds, according to a 2018 study by the California Air Resources Board.

“By signing AB 1346, Governor Newsom has delivered on his commitment to a clean energy future that protects the health of all Californians, including workers facing disproportionate health risks from pollution of the earth. ‘air,’ Berman said in a statement. “With $ 30 million in zero emission incentives, we are ensuring a just transition to clean technology. I want to thank Governor Newsom for signing this historic legislation to protect people and our planet.”

Several environmental and health coalitions agree.

“AB 1346 will protect the health of Californians by cleaning up extremely high pollution from small all-terrain engines like leaf blowers and lawn mowers,” said Bill Magavern, policy director for the Coalition for Clean Air.

“Californians face the toughest air pollution challenges in the United States, and small all-terrain engines are a growing source of this health burden,” said Will Barrett, senior director of defense. clean air from the American Lung Association, adding that the law accelerates a “zero emission path to cleaner air and healthier lungs.”