Thursday, June 01, 2006

Greenwire: Briggs & Stratton, other small engines flunk emission tests

An update for those of you who are tracking the continuing interest by Senator Kit Bond (R-MO) to delay or block pollution standards for small engines on behalf of the Briggs & Stratton Corporation:

Greenwire is out with a story this afternoon which notes that in EPA tests, 8 of 12 tested lawnmower engines failed to meet EXISTING pollution standards over time.

This material, taken from EPA’s docket, may explain the vehemence with which Briggs & Stratton has opposed any further pollution control requirements.

The Briggs & Stratton engines are the dirtiest of those tested. Four of six Briggs & Stratton engines failed the pollution tests. One tested Briggs & Stratton engine actually emitted more than triple the allowable pollution levels. (Some tested Honda and Tecumseh engines also failed, though generally not by as much.)

The tests suggest that lawn mowers and other small engines may be a bigger pollution problem than previously believed. (And we’ve seen some rotten air quality in recent days along with warmer weather – and more lawn mowing.)

The test results also underscore the need for new standards to limit pollution from small engines. EPA has scheduled a hearing later this month on California’s request to move ahead with tougher standards. Still big question marks: will EPA proceed, as it should, with new standards for other states? Will Bond try once again to interfere? Will Sen. Diane Feinstein once again seek a deal with Bond that might help California – at the expense of the rest of the nation?

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