April 13, 2024
Wash. State Dems Seek to Jail Gas-Powered Lawnmower Users

Wash. State Dems Seek to Jail Gas-Powered Lawnmower Users

(Headline USAWashington state Democrats introduced a proposal this week that would outlaw new gas-powered lawn equipment, such as lawn mowers, and punish violators with potential jail time.

A bill pre-filed by state Rep. Amy Walen would amend the state’s Clean Air Act to ban new “gasoline-powered and diesel-powered landscaping and other outdoor power equipment.”

The bill claims such equipment contributes to climate change and causes a range of health problems, including asthma and hearing loss, according to KTTH’s Jason Rantz.

“Nationally, the Department of Transportation data shows that one hour of running a gas lawnmower can contribute as much smog-forming pollution as driving a passenger car 300 miles,” the bill claims. “One hour of running a gas leaf blower can contribute as much smog-forming pollution as driving a passenger car 1,100 miles.”

Under the bill, the Washington state Department of Ecology would be required to “adopt rules to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new outdoor power equipment” by Jan. 1, 2026.

The only exceptions to this ban would be for gas-powered equipment used by government agencies and for commercial and residential use when there is no “suitable zero-emissions outdoor power equipment technology.”

If passed, the new rule would impact lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, augers, wood chippers, pressure washers, snowblowers and many other tools. Some have electric alternatives, but those can be nearly three times the price of gas-powered tools, Rantz noted.

Those found in violation of the law could be found guilty of a gross misdemeanor under Washington state penal code and be slapped with fines up to $10,000 and imprisonment of up to 364 days per violation.

Similar measures to ban gas-powered lawn equipment have been passed in other Democratic states, such as California.

In 2021, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into a law a ban on the sale of new gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers, which is set to go into effect in 2024.

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