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John Reitman

By John Reitman

California bill bans gas engines under 25 horsepower


Anyone who listened in on Craig Kessler's TurfNet webinar on government relations heard about the next issue coming down the line from a government agency that could have an effect on the golf industry.

On Saturday, California Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law Assembly Bill 1346 that orders the ban on the sale of new gasoline-powered equipment under 25 horsepower. The new law, which requires all lawn equipment to be zero-emission, includes all small off-road engines that power generators and lawn equipment such as mowers, blowers, chainsaws and pressure washers.

The California Air Resources Board has begun working on a rule to implement the ban as early as 2024. Gas-powered generators must be zero-emission by 2028.

AB 1346 was authored by Assemblyman Marc Berman, who represents California's 24th district that includes parts of San Mateo and Santa Clara counties and much of Silicon Valley. 

Proponents of the bill say it will help reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the country's largest state. According to the bill's author, there are 16.7 million small engine-powered tools in California. 

Others say using zero-emission equipment is cost-prohibitive. The National Association of Landscape Professionals, said the zero-emission commercial-grade equipment landscapers use currently is prohibitively expensive and less efficient than the existing gas-powered lawn mowers, leaf blowers and other small machinery, costing at least twice as much. The association also said, for example, a three-person crew will need to carry 30 to 40 fully charged batteries to power its equipment during a full day's work.

The state has set aside $30 million in the current budget to fund a rebate program to entice users to exchange their existing gas-powered equipment for battery or plug-in replacements.

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