Loud and gas-powered leaf blowers are prohibited in one state. Are more to come?

Gasoline lawn mowers are noisy, dirty, and pollute the air. That’s why a new California law will soon ban the sale of gasoline-powered lawn care and landscaping equipment.

Chris Monroe / CNET

California has had enough of leaf blowers and gasoline lawn mowers, or at least the state government has. In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law banning the sale of gasoline-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, as well as other equipment that uses small all-terrain engines, aka SORE. These motors traditionally power equipment used in lawn care and landscaping.

Small power tools are a surprisingly large source of carbon emissions and air pollution. According to the California Air Resources Board, one hour of using a gasoline leaf blower is equivalent to driving 1,100 miles. Running a gasoline lawn mower for the same period is equivalent to a 300 mile drive.

So what does this rule change mean for you and your landscaping? We’ll explain exactly what the new law does, when it comes into force, and what to do when it happens.

What does the new California law say?

The law will prohibit the sale of new SORE equipment statewide (this does not affect the aftermarket of resale). It also calls on the state to adopt new regulations regarding SORE emissions. The purpose of this legislation is to ban exhaust fumes and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines.

When will the leaf blower and lawn mower rule come into effect?

The state has set a target date to put in place regulations on SORE emissions by July 1, 2022. The current rule prohibiting the sale of SORE equipment will come into effect on July 1, 2024. Ultimately, the The goal is to achieve 100% zero emissions in California from SORE. by 2035.

Can I still buy used gasoline lawn mowers and leaf blowers?

Yes, but only for a few years. Sellers will be prohibited from selling any SORE product manufactured after July 1, 2024 in the state of California.

Electric lawn mowers like this EGO model now rival the power of gasoline powered machines.

Chris Monroe / CNET

Which electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers can I buy?

Any electric landscaping tool is usable because, by definition, they are zero emission devices. Whether it uses a cord or a cordless battery system, you’re good to go. Best of all, there are plenty of electric lawn care options. In fact, the shift from gas park equipment to battery powered park equipment is already underway.

Here are CNET’s top picks for the best electric lawn mowers and one of the best electric leaf blower you can buy now.

Many electric lawn mowers rival the power of gasoline mowers. They also provide the more convenience quieter operation, as well as the absence of harmful fumes. We recommend that you make the switch as early as possible for yourself or your landscaping team, so that you can start enjoying the benefits of noise and air pollution reduction well before the ban.

Electric leaf blowers are also catching up with their gas-powered counterparts. The idea of ​​one day eliminating all SORE lawn and landscaping equipment is not as far-fetched as it might have seemed.

Are the other states next?

California’s ban on new SORE equipment is likely not the last. More than 100 towns and villages across the country have already banned these machines. And pressure is mounting for other local governments to do the same. While the United States and the rest of the world adopt policies to push back the specter of climate change, gasoline leaf blowers are likely to experience global extinction.

About Catherine Sturm

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