What a great move! The EPA finally granted California the right to require that the emissions of smaller engines, such as lawnmowers. New small engines sold in California will have to be sold with a catalytic converter starting January 1.
It doesn’t surprise me that these engines are highly polluting. I don’t own a lawnmower myself, as we are renting a house and the landlord hired someone to take care of that. I’m hoping to just have a push lawnmower when we do have our own. My husband has used that kind before and doesn’t feel it’s that bad.
The new standards will cut emissions by around 40%. That’s pretty significant, especially when you hear that lawnmower emissions are estimated to cause about 7% of California’s mobile source smog emissions.
The resistance to letting California do this, no surprise, came from a Republican Senator whose state is home to the company that makes a large percentage of these motors. Sure it’s going to be hard on such companies, but I really think it’s the right thing to do. We need to learn to look beyond the moment and the short term profits. And of course I’d like to thank my own Senator, Dianne Feinstein, for holding firm on this.
Now we just have to wait and see how long it takes for this to be accepted as a national standard. That same *charming* Senator blocked other states from being allowed to copy this, forcing the need for a national standard.
I know many people will be upset about the increase in cost of these adapted mowers, but that generally doesn’t bother me. I really think it’s worth the extra money to do right by our planet. I can think of many places where a price increase might help the consumerism that is a big part of the problem.