Bill Memo: Fresh Air, Lawn Care

1-Tree: Beneficial rating

Summary

This bill amends the environmental conservation law, adding that one hundred percent of all new lawn care devices, sold in-state, must be zero-emissions beginning in 2027. Lawn care devices include but are not limited to lawnmowers, leaf blowers and vacuums, lawn-edgers, mulchers, and chippers. The bill also calls for collaboration between NYSERDA and departments of economic development, environmental conservation, the public service commission, and other agencies to develop a market development strategy by 2023.

Explanation

This bill requires all lawn care devices for sale or sold in-state to be zero-emissions by 2027. Conventional lawn care equipment pollutes our state’s air, is a noise nuisance in our communities, and uses an excessive amount of gasoline fuel. Phasing out gasoline-powered lawn care devices will improve air and noise pollution levels in our communities.

Gas-powered landscaping equipment, such as lawnmowers and leaf blowers have a large carbon footprint, impact air quality, and pose harm to individuals operating the equipment. Landscaping equipment emits greenhouse gas emissions and harmful co-pollutants including hydrocarbons, nitrogen oxides (NOx), carbon monoxide (CO), and particulate matter (PM). The noise intensity from this equipment is significant as well, which has been documented to contribute to hearing loss in workers.

The solution to the high-emitting, extremely loud landscaping equipment is their battery-powered, zero emissions, quieter counterparts. Electric landscaping equipment is now a viable option for landscaping company fleets and households; however, gas-powered equipment’s competitive edge lies in the cheaper upfront cost.

In 2021, the State of California’s Air and Resource Board voted to ban the sale of new gasoline-powered leaf blowers and lawnmowers starting 2024, citing that doing so would prevent premature deaths for cardiovascular and respiratory illnesses, hospital visits, and emergency room visits for asthma. In addition, according to the EPA Report “National Emissions from Lawn and Garden Equipment,” this legislation would help combat global emissions and lower our carbon footprint. This legislation continues New York on the right path to meeting the state’s climate change goals under the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act.

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Environmental Advocates NY Bill Rating: Beneficial

Memo #: 32