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City takes state law step further, enacting strict ban on gas-powered equipment: 'More cities considering similar restrictions'

The new city ordinance takes effect on July 1.

The new city ordinance takes effect on July 1.

Photo Credit: iStock

Gas-powered lawn equipment like mowers and leaf blowers produce an astonishing amount of air pollution, which is why the state of California recently banned the sale of such equipment. Then one Californian city went even further, banning their use entirely, Local News Matters reported.

While the new California law banned the sale of new equipment but allowed existing equipment to be grandfathered in, the city of Lafayette is putting its foot down entirely. The new city ordinance takes effect on July 1. 

The city has also established a lending program for electric leaf blowers to assist residents who will no longer be allowed to use their gas-powered leaf blowers.

The reasons are many for banning gas-powered lawn equipment that uses small off-road engines. These devices release air pollution and planet-overheating gases at a rate that makes even gas-powered cars look environmentally friendly. 

According to the EPA, using a gas-powered mower for one hour generates as many volatile organic compounds as driving a typical car for 350 miles. Gas-powered mowers, leaf blowers, chainsaws, and generators also cause excessive noise pollution, as anyone who has ever had one on their street is well aware.

"In addition to noise pollution, gas-powered leaf blowers emit hydrocarbons, particulates, toxins, and carcinogens into the air — contributing to air pollution and negative health effects for the user," the city of Lafayette explained on its website.

With so many electric versions of these tools — which are quieter, less expensive in the long run, and far less polluting — hitting the market, the need for gas-powered lawn equipment simply does not exist anymore.

Other states and cities that have taken steps to phase out gas-powered lawn equipment include Colorado, Boston, and New York City. And according to the Lafayette website, "At least fifteen cities in the Bay Area have passed laws prohibiting gas-powered leaf blowers, including nearby Berkeley, Piedmont, and Alameda … with more cities considering similar restrictions."

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