Home>Articles>Landscapers Say California Lawmakers’ Ban on New Lawnmowers, Leaf Blowers ‘Out of Touch’

Assemblyman Marc Berman. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

Landscapers Say California Lawmakers’ Ban on New Lawnmowers, Leaf Blowers ‘Out of Touch’

‘Maybe the writers of this bill should mow a lawn a few times before judging what’s best for us’

By Evan Symon, October 12, 2021 2:15 am

A bill that would phase out the the sale of new gas-powered small off-road engines (SORE), such as those found in lawnmowers, leaf blowers and generators, by 2024, was just signed into law by Governor Gavin Newsom.

Assembly Bill 1346, authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman (D-Menlo Park) and Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez (D-San Diego), would require the California Air Resources Board (CARB) to adopt cost-effective and technologically feasible regulations to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines. Specifically, the sale of new gas-powered small off-road engines, commonly found in gardening and outdoors equipment such as lawnmowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and other similar equipment would be transitioned over to only zero-emission motor equipment.

Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez. (Photo: Kevin Sanders for California Globe)

While gas-powered equipment would not be made illegal, the sale of new gas powered SORE would be phased out until 2024, or by a date that CARB finds acceptable. CARB would also have to make funding available for commercial rebates to support the transition to zero-emission SORE. New portable gas-powered generators sold in the state would also have to be zero-emission by 2028, although that date may change based on future CARB decisions over needed blackout generators.

“According to ARB, the largest SORE contributors to smog-forming emissions in its jurisdiction are generators, followed by leaf blowers, lawn mowers, riding mowers, trimmers, chainsaws, and pressure washers,” bill analysis says.

The bill generated controversy ever since being introduced earlier this year, with bill language barely changing since March. While passed on a Democrat-Republican split in the Senate, many Democrats joined Republicans opposing the bill in the Assembly, with many voicing concerns of costs to landscaping companies and aforementioned concerns of generator usage during emergencies. However, the opposition fell short 47-22 with 11 opposing last month in the Assembly, leading the way for Newsom to sign on Saturday.

Democratic lawmakers, environmentalists, and others praised the Governor for signing AB 1346 into law during the weekend, pointing out the environmental benefits as well as health benefits for the users of the new equipment.

“I was so proud to work with Assemblyman Marc Berman on this bill, as a joint author,” tweeted Assemblywoman Gonzalez on Saturday. “We even got money in the budget to help small landscapers replace their dirty leaf blowers! Huge thank you to Marc for recognizing the impact this has on Latino workers.”

Berman also noted the passage in a statement saying that “It’s amazing how people react when they learn how much this equipment pollutes, and how much smog-forming and climate-changing emissions that small off-road engine equipment creates. 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.”

However, critics pointed out that many would likely import gas-powered lawnmowers and other machines covered under the bill past the deadline date. Other critics are also worried that the new motors will generate less power, which would be critical for areas that still rely on gas-powered generators for emergency power.

“It should really come down to preference,” said Miguel Rojas, a landscaping company owner in Los Angeles, to the Globe on Monday. “My crews prefer different things, sometimes based on the neighborhood. Some like gas, some like electric, some don’t care. But now they’re trying to get us not to use certain ones? That’s idiotic.”

“We use the ones that are best for us, and the client. And one of them is saying that this is for Latinos. This is just going to hurt us, as electric ones don’t last as long due to the battery life. And we wear masks and other protective equipment, so we’re fine using the gas ones. Maybe the writers of this should mow a lawn a few times before judging what’s best for us.”

“But you know what? We’re just going to go to Mexico, Nevada, Arizona, anywhere and get the ones we want. Or if they ban using new ones, we’ll just replace the motors of the old ones because they work better. I don’t know how much more out of touch these people can get.”

AB 1346, which follows in the footsteps of other gas-powered motor limiting bills such as Governor Gavin Newsom’s executive order last year ending the sale of new gas-powered vehicles in California by 2035, is expected to go into effect by 2024.

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14 thoughts on “Landscapers Say California Lawmakers’ Ban on New Lawnmowers, Leaf Blowers ‘Out of Touch’

  1. Of course Lorena Gonzalez is part of this. Lorena, who appears to have never missed a CARB on her plate and has even managed to make Latino landscapers SORE at her with her seemingly racist tweet. Apparently only Latinos are landscapers doncha know.

  2. This is the same idealistic garbage that ruined the lumber industry which resulted in hard to control forest fires. The same utopian garbage that prevented building adequate water reservoirs for a growing population. The same crap that stopped drilling for oil. The same sh*t that causes California to have “special” gas formulated.
    Stop these eco-terrorists! These are the same idiots that changed the narrative from “global warming” to “climate change” . You want to label something a “big lie”? Climate change is just one! Climate change is a synonym for payola to politicians.

  3. The pollution claims for small engines are preposterous. The idea that burning a couple of ounces in a lawn mower is worse than burning 20 gallons in a car is utterly absurd.

    Emissions free generators is an oxymoron. If you need power you need an engine to run it. A battery “powered” generator is a physical impossibility.

  4. Battery powered chainsaws are toys. You cannot fall a 3′ diameter tree with a battery powered chainsaw. If you built one capable of such a thing it would weigh 100 pounds.

  5. If landscapers wanted to get their message of protest to Governor Gruesome they should stop maintaining his yard. A coordinated effort of local yard maintenance workers declining to work for him, forcing him to do it himself, and if it happened you know he would be out there with the gas powered equipment.

    It’s time everybody providing services started telling the ‘elites’ sorry we can’t help you because your policies aren’t meeting OUR needs. They want to harrass parents, the unvaxxed, etc. but the knife cuts both ways, SERVICE DENIED!

  6. I agree! They don’t realize the pain in the a** it will be for these gardeners to charge there equipment every day. And those that will plug there landscape equipment in to maintain a yard. This is going to hurt all Landscape businesses when it becomes a law. This is why I didn’t vote for this jerk. And I agree they need to stop maintaining his yard and make him do his own yard. Better yet all of those who approved of this should not have their landscape maintained then they’ll think twice about what an idiot they were by even passing a law like this. They obviously don’t know what goes into landscaping a yard.

  7. No doubt Democrat Assemblyman Marc Berman who authored Assembly Bill 1346 or any of those of the Democrat cabal in the legislature has ever mowed a lawn? They are part of the pampered Marxist elite who delegate such tasks to the lower chaste of workers who are struggling to survive?

  8. Recently watched a documentary on a species of whale that went extinct a thousand years ago because the ocean water temperature increased disrupting the whale’s food supply. Must have been all the lawnmowers back then.

  9. They ban gas powered garden equipment saying it creates too much air pollution, but the same week Newsom signed AB 45 allowing people to smoke industrial hemp, as if there is no secondhand smoke that will be emitted from that. Hasn’t the state spent billions to try to get people to stop smoking cigarettes? Now they are just replacing one smoking product with another. Actually, two smoking products, the first being marijuana. I have never seen the air in California so polluted. It is filled with marijuana neurotoxins.

    So the next time these idiot Democrats in the Legislature and our dumb Governor tell us about how bad air pollution is, ask them why they voted for AB 45 then.

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