Press Releases

Washington, DC – U.S. Senator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) today welcomed EPA’s decision to effectively implement California’s small engines emissions reduction target nationwide.  These small engines are responsible for approximately 7 percent of all U.S. mobile source smog-forming pollutants.

California’s small engine rule requires new small engines (under 25 horsepower) to be built to reduce smog-causing pollutants, such as hydrocarbons and nitrogen oxides, by 35 percent. The emissions reductions could be achieved by using catalytic converters and other improvements to engine combustion. The State’s small engine rule went into effect in January 2007, following a decision by the EPA to grant California a Clean Air Act waiver in December 2006. The EPA draft rule announced today would effectively implement California’s reduction target nationwide.

“Great news, the EPA today announced plans to effectively implement California’s strict emissions controls for small engines nationwide,” Senator Feinstein said. “Small diesel engines under 25 horsepower, like lawnmowers, are responsible for approximately 7 percent of all U.S. mobile source smog-forming emissions.  So, nationwide implementation of California’s aggressive target to reduce these pollutants by 35 percent is critical to improving our nation’s air quality.  Once this rule is implemented, millions of Americans across the country will experience the real health benefits of less smog and air pollution.”

The proposed rule would include phased-in implementations:

  • By 2011, new Class II engines (riding mowers, farm equipment, and other non-handheld equipment), will be required to meet the EPA standard, three years after the California standard goes into effect in 2008.
  • By 2012, Class I engines (such as walk-behind lawnmowers, dishwashers, and other larger non-handheld equipment), will be required to meet the reduction standards, a five-year delay from California’s enactment date of 2007.

Beginning in 2009, the EPA would also require new marine generators (for outboard motor engines and other personal watercraft) to reduce smog-forming emissions by 70 percent.

The EPA estimates that by 2030, the proposed standards would reduce:

  • 2.7 million tons of carbon monoxide;
  • 630,000 tons of hydrocarbon emissions;
  • 98,000 tons of nitrogen oxide emissions; and
  • 6,3000 tons of direct particulate matter.