New rules for lawn and garden equipment get approval from Colorado Air Quality Control Commission Friday

Ban on some gas-powered push lawn mowers and handheld landscaping tools on state property
lawn care
Posted at 1:08 PM, Feb 16, 2024
and last updated 2024-02-16 18:39:13-05

The Colorado Air Quality Control Commission voted in favor of new rules for some lawn and garden equipment Friday morning.

Commissioners passed the motion unanimously, with a 8-0 vote.

The move would ban gas-powered push lawn mowers and handheld landscaping tools under 25 horse power on state property. The new rules would ban the same equipment under 10 horsepower on public property across the Front Range between Castle Rock and Fort Collins.

It's important to emphasize these changes will not impact homeowners on their private property.

"It covers all other government property, including your local parks, schools, you know, we want to make sure that our air quality even at our local neighborhood schools is as good as possible," Kirsten Schatz, a clean air advocate with CoPIRG, said.

The new rules go into effect in the summer of 2025.

Colorado’s Regional Air Quality Council voted to approve these recommendations in July of 2023 in response to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) decided to downgrading the Northern Front Range’s ozone problem from serious to severe.

State lawmakers also approved a bill last session to offer a 30% point-of-sale tax rebate to people who buy electric equipment.

Lawn mowing

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The National Association of Landscape Professionals sent Denver7 the following statement on the measure:

The National Association of Landscape Professionals is committed to helping lower emissions from gas lawn and garden equipment use.  As an industry we support a responsible transition that avoids arbitrary timelines for commercial use and also provides funding and education to assist the industry during the transition. We believe Rule 29 takes a measured approach by limiting use to only State and then Municipal properties during times of the year that are more technically feasible for the current zero emission equipment. We look forward to continuing to work with Colorado Legislators and Regulators to incentives industry adoption through state and private funded initiatives.

While the Associated Landscape Contractors of Colorado is also supportive of the decision, the group shared the counterpoint.

"The key concern are cost, incentives to help and the timing. The IRS still has not responded to clarity on electric lawn equipment and deductions available. And the manufactures are expecting significant advancements in 4 years to electric lawn care equipment that could help in some of the performance issues that have been covered."

One Northglenn City Council member also shared another consideration these changes won't cover.

"it is disappointing that the Commission didn’t adopt important protections for worker health and communities. Still, I am glad that residents in my community and other communities throughout the ozone non-attainment area won’t be further harmed by the fumes or terrible noise emitted by gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf mowers." Katherine Golf said.

New rules for law and garden equipment get approval

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