California Outlaws Future Sales Of Gas Leaf Blowers And Lawn Mowers. What To Know About The New Rule



Gas lawn mowers are loud, dirty and pollute the air. That's why a new California law will soon ban the sale of gas-powered lawn care and landscaping equipment. 

Chris Monroe/CNET

California has had enough of gas-powered leaf blowers and lawn mowers, or at least the state government has. In October, Gov. Gavin Newsom signed a law banning the sale of gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers, as well as any other equipment using small off-road engines, aka SOREs. These engines traditionally power equipment used in lawn care and landscaping. 

Small engine-based tools are a surprisingly large source of carbon emissions and air pollution. According to the California Air Resources Board, just one hour of gas leaf blower use is the equivalent of driving 1,100 miles. Running a gas lawn mower for the same period equates to a 300-mile drive.

Looking for Cyber Monday deals?
Don’t miss a minute of the action with our coverage of the best Cyber Monday 2021 deals.

So what does this rule change mean for you and your landscaping? We'll explain exactly what the new law does, when it comes into effect and what to do when it happens.

What does the new California law say?

The law will prohibit the sale of new SORE equipment throughout the state (this does not affect the secondary resale market). It also calls for the state to adopt new regulations around SORE emissions. The purpose of this legislation is to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines.

When will the gas leaf blower and lawn mower rule go into effect?

The state has set a target date to set up SORE emission regulations by July 1, 2022. The actual rule banning the sale of SORE equipment goes into effect July 1, 2024. Ultimately the goal is to achieve 100% zero emissions in California from SOREs by 2035.

Can I still buy used gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers?

Yes, but only for a few more years. Vendors will be prohibited to sell any SORE product manufactured after July 1, 2024 in the state of California.

electric-mowers-2021-09Enlarge Image","modalTemplate":"

Electric lawn mowers like this EGO model now rival the power of gas machines.

Chris Monroe/CNET

Which electric lawn mowers and leaf blowers can I buy?

Any electric landscaping tool is clear for use since by definition they're zero-emission devices. Whether it uses a cord or a cordless battery system, you're good to go. Even better, there are lots of electric lawn care options out there. In fact the shift from gas to battery-powered yard equipment is already in progress.

Here are CNET's top picks for the best electric lawn mowers and a top-rated electric leaf blower you can buy now.

Many electric lawn mowers rival the power of gas mowers. They also provide the added convenience of quieter operation, along with the lack of noxious fumes. We recommend making the shift sooner rather than later for you or your landscaping crew, to start getting the benefits of reduced noise and air pollution well before the ban takes place.

Electric leaf blowers are catching up to their gas counterparts as well. The thought of one day eliminating all SORE lawn and landscaping gear isn't as far-fetched as it once may have sounded. 

Are other states next?

It's likely that California's ban on new SORE equipment isn't the last. More than 100 cities and towns across the country already outlaw these machines. And pressure is building for other local governments to do the same. So as the US and the rest of the world enact policies to beat back the specter of climate change, gas leaf blowers will probably suffer planetary extinction.

Source :

Noisy, gas-burping leaf blowers are being outlawed in one state. Are more to come?


Noisy, gas-burping leaf blowers are being outlawed in one state. Are more to come?