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California could ban gas-powered landscaping equipment

Posted at 6:31 PM, Jan 07, 2020

Gas-powered lawn equipment could be banned in the state of California as state regulators look at ways to reduce air pollution and greenhouse gases.

Numerous cities in the state already have bans in place when it comes to gas-powered mowers and blowers, but with the possibility of the ban going statewide, it has some in the landscaping business on the Central Coast concerned.

Jeremy Kincaid is the owner of Kincaid's Landscape Care and has been in the landscape and maintenance business for the past 22 years. He has always used gas-powered tools.

"This is our livelihood. This equipment is what makes my business work," Kincaid said.

Like Kincaid, many across the state of California utilize gas-powered gardening tools.

Now, state regulators are concerned about the impacts these tools could be having on the environment, specifically when it comes to air pollution.

That is why California is looking at potentially banning gas-powered landscape equipment and switching to battery-operated machinery.

Kincaid said he's just not sure his business could take the hit.

"I would lose accounts, I would start losing businesses, it would put on a big damper. It would probably put me out of business," he said.

While there is an expense associated with making the switch to more environmentally-conscious products, Kincaid said there's also a price to pay when it comes to performance.

Electric tools could be less powerful, but others say it was only a matter of time before this type of change takes place.

"We've got electric cars already. It is going to happen. I mean, it's already happening so I'm ready for it," said John Knudsen, owner of Knudsen Gardening and Landscaping.

However, Kincaid believes a complete ban is not the answer.

"I think that these companies that create (gardening equipment)... Stihl, Husqvarna, etc... can actually make these run on lower emissions like they do a car," he said.

Cars are large producers of carbon dioxide, which is a greenhouse gas, but air regulators are concerned about the gases being emitted from gardening tools as they say they can be even more problematic.

According to the California Air Resources Board, running a gas-powered lawn mower for about an hour will produce the same amount of air pollution as a Toyota Camry driving from Los Angeles to Las Vegas.