Tuesday, April 17, 2007

EPA proposing new standards for lawn mowers, other small engines

The US EPA is planning today – finally – to propose new national air pollution standards for lawn mowers and other small engines.

The White House Office of Management and Budget completed its review of the proposal last week: http://www.reginfo.gov/public/do/eoDetails?rrid=114237

These engines may be small in size, but they are big when it comes to pollution. Lawn mowers and other small engines are significant sources of pollution. As cars have become cleaner, small engines have become a bigger and bigger part of the pollution problem.

These standards are way overdue. They were held up literally for years because of political pressure from Senator Kit Bond of Missouri, who was doing the bidding of the Briggs & Stratton engine company. Bond and Briggs & Stratton finally got quiet last year.

We hope that EPA will issue these standards in final form later this year.

The EPA standards should dovetail with standards previously set by the state of California, though the national standards will take effect several years later. (EPA granted permission at the end of last year for California to move ahead with those standards there.)

These new standards will require new limits on “evaporative” emissions and will also likely lead to use of tiny catalytic converters.

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