It’s estimated that Americans spend three billion hours annually using their gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers.
The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has proposed new limits on smog-forming emissions that would affect not only mowers and leaf blowers, but products ranging from generators to personal watercraft. The rule would cut emissions by 35 percent for land motors and 70 percent for watercraft.
The EPA estimates billions of dollars a year could be saved in health care costs while preventing millions of tons of greenhouse-gas emissions and pollutants from reaching the skies.
“It’s a great law. I love it,” said Bob Kard, director of the Maricopa County Air Quality Department. “There’s no reason not to improve (these engines).”
The rule does come with a price. The technology to meet the standards is expected to raise the equipment costs anywhere from 3 percent to 35 percent. The EPA is taking public comment on the issue through Aug. 3 and will announce the final rule early next year.