If you are a New Yorker who uses a gasoline-powered lawnmower or other yard equipment, you may have to look for other options. New York State Senator Pete Harckham is pushing a law that would require lawn care equipment to be zero-emission. The legislation would require any in-state sales of new landscaping equipment to be non-gas powered by 2027. If it passes, the law would apply to lawn mowers, leaf blowers, trimmers, and more (see below).

Harckman said the move is important as New York continues to be a leader in protecting the environment,

“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. Gas-powered landscaping devices create an inordinate amount of air pollutants, and so it is imperative that we transition to zero-emission equipment. 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.”

The legislation, New York Senate Bill S.7462, is pretty comprehensive when it comes to the type of equipment that would be subject to the law. It pertains to basically any equipment used for,

“the mowing of grass, the cutting or chopping of trees, tree roots, or tree branches, or the clearing of leaves or other vegetation from lawns, sidewalks, public streets or public highways and shall include, but not be limited to, such devices as lawn mowers and lawn mower attachments, lawn edgers, leaf blowers, leaf vacuums, mulchers, and chippers.”

It could mean any resident, groundskeepers, and lawn care businesses around the state with aging equipment would need to buy gas-powered replacements before 2027, buy used equipment after 2027 - as the law would only apply to new equipment, or spend possibly thousands of dollars on new zero-emission equipment.

Prior to submitting the legislation, which was filed with the Senate Rules Committee last week, Harckham met with professional landscapers, who voiced concerns about recouping investments on recently purchased equipment. The five-year implementation to zero emissions in the bill takes this into consideration.

You can view the bill here.

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