Gas-powered lawn mowers, trimmers, and leaf blowers may soon be a thing of the past in New York State. A new bill would require all landscaping equipment to be electric by 2027.

Senator Pete Harckham introduced legislation that requires all in-state sales of new lawn care and landscaping equipment, such as mowers, leaf blowers, and trimmers, to be zero emissions by 2027.

“As New York continues to advance the goals set in the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act, we need to do more to reduce our dependence on fossil fuels,” said Harckham. “Gas-powered landscaping devices create an inordinate amount of air pollutants, and so it is imperative that we transition to zero-emission equipment.”

The change may be good for the environment but costly for professional landscapers who met with Senator Harchham to voice concerns about the price of replacing their equipment or recouping investments on ones recently purchased.

“The environmental benefits of zero-emission lawn devices are many, and as more communities in New York look to ban or partially ban gas-powered devices, the switch to electric equipment, which is certainly quieter to operate, will take place quickly statewide.”

California signed legislation earlier this month banning gas-powered lawn equipment and generators starting in 2024. The state has three million more pieces of lawn equipment than passenger cars on the road.

54 million Americans mow their lawns each year, using 800 million gallons of gasoline, according to a report from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency". A new gas-powered mower produces in one hour as much greenhouse gases as 11 new cars being driven in an hour."

Officials in the Village of Larchment, New York in Westchester County passed the first ban on gas-powered leaf blowers in the Northeast. It goes into effect on January 1, 2022. Electric leaf blowers will also be limited to spring cleanup in April and October 15 to December 15 for fall clean-up.

19 New York towns, villages or cities have bans in place, but only during certain times of the year. Anyone using gas-powered leaf blowers could be fined $100.

“Gas-powered, non-road equipment pollutes heavily and when combined with the poor air quality present in many of our urban and suburban communities, presents a clear harm to the health and well-being of the residents of New York State,” said Mark F. Thielking, director of Energy and Sustainability for the Town of Bedford.

Lawn equipment isn't the only thing going electric. A new law bans the sale of gas-powered cars after 2035. In an effort to reduce climate-altering greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution, Governor Kathy Hochul signed legislation in September, requiring all new cars and trucks be zero emissions by 2035.

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