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California law to eventually ban gas-powered lawn equipment

Last year, Newsom ordered regulators to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035.

SACRAMENTO, Calif. — California Gov. Gavin Newsom has signed a law directing regulators to eventually ban the sale of new gas-powered lawn equipment.

Newsom signed a law Saturday that orders state regulators to ban the sale of new gas-powered equipment that uses small off-road engines. That's a broad category that includes generators, lawn equipment and pressure washers. 

The law says regulators must do this by Jan. 1, 2024, or whenever the board decides is feasible, whichever date is later.  

Last year, Newsom ordered regulators to ban the sale of new gas-powered cars in the state by 2035.

Read the full AP story here.

Is the landscaping industry ready for the change?

Casey Bliss, owner of Bliss Power Lawn Equipment, said he’s working with the Sacramento Municipal Utility District to offer money in exchange for old gas-powered equipment.

"We saw that this was coming down the road. We see the battery is becoming more commonplace," Bliss said.

But it might not be commonplace enough.

"I don't know of a battery-powered rototiller; I don't know of a chainsaw larger than a 20-inch bar that's battery powered," he said. "So I'm not quite sure how Cal Fire and some of those types of things are going to go out there and mitigate fires when they have to have battery-powered products."

Take the electric Makita lawnmower as an example. Bliss said it takes two batteries and can go about 3,000 square feet before a change or recharge.

"Well, a commercial landscaper, probably, I could be way off on my numbers, is probably cutting... 20,000, 30,000 square feet, maybe even more a day," Bliss said. "So obviously, they would have to be running around town with 100 batteries."

Some family-owned businesses like Chevy Cooper’s lawn care company simply do not see how it it’ll work.

"Only so much work will be able to get done in the day before we have to go back home and call it a day early to go charge our equipment," Cooper said.

However, as a man of faith, he’s not stressing too much.

"Us landscapers, we're almost like an unofficial union," he said. "We stick together."

State officials said running a gas-powered leaf blower for one hour emits the same amount of pollutions as driving from L.A. to Denver.

"I think the idea is great," Bliss added. "I think it'll eventually get there." But he reiterated that the industry is not there yet,

This law does not go into effect right away. It’s as soon as 2024. It’s also important to remember that this is for the sale of new off-road engines. It does not affect the ones that you already have.

Watch more ABC10: How California aims to put brakes on illegal sideshows, street racing