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EPA Tightens Engine Standards for Grounds Equipment
Grounds equipment, including mowers and weed trimmers, soon will contribute to healthier and cleaner air. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has set strict new standards for gas-powered lawn equipment, as well as marine engines, with a goal of reducing the amount of gas fumes, carbon monoxide, hydrocarbons, and smog-forming pollutants emitted from a range of engines.
The rule becomes effective in 2011 for lawn and garden equipment with 25 horsepower or less.
To meet the new exhaust emission standards, manufacturers likely will employ catalytic converters for the first time in many pieces of lawn and garden equipment.
Non-road, gasoline-powered engines, such as those used in lawn and garden equipment, will see an additional 35 percent reduction in smog-forming hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions. These cuts go beyond the 60 percent reduction implemented two years ago. The updated engines also will see a 45 percent reduction in fuel-evaporative emissions.
When fully implemented, the rule will yield annual emission reductions of 600,000 tons of hydrocarbons, 130,000 tons of NOx, 5,500 tons of direct particulate matter, and 1.5 million tons of carbon monoxide. EPA expects the new standards to save about 190 million gallons of gasoline annually.
Each year, Americans spend more than 3 billion hours using lawn and garden equipment and more than 500 million hours in recreational boating. As a result, the total estimated public health benefits of this action are $1.6-4.4 billion by 2030.
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