Press Releases

Washington, DC – The Environmental Protection Agency has approved a rule that will allow California to set limits on emissions from many small engines under 25 horsepower, U.S. Senators Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer (both D-Calif.) today announced.

T hese tougher standards will improve air quality and benefit public health without any adverse impact on consumer safety. Without this rule, California might have difficulty meeting federal ozone standards, jeopardizing public health and millions in federal highway dollars.

“This is a giant step forward for California. It paves the way for California to implement strict emission controls on lawnmowers and other small engines and to see major reductions in air pollution.

Seven percent of the State’s mobile emissions come from these small engines. This is the equivalent of over 3 million cars – so this is an important step forward in cleaning our state’s dirty air. To put this in perspective, mowing grass with a gasoline powered lawnmower causes as much pollution as operating a car for 13 hours. So this is really significant.

And this will be done without compromising safety. Four small engine manufacturers – Tecumseh, Honda, Kawasaki, and Kohler – have submitted letters to EPA stating that cleaner small engines, including catalytic converters, will not cause safety problems for consumers.

So once again, California will be leading the way on reducing harmful emissions.”

Senator Barbara Boxer, the incoming Chair of the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works, stated that, “I’m glad that EPA has finally approved California's clean air standards for small engines. These engines are big contributors to smog, and add to the burden of premature deaths, asthma, heart attacks, and cancer, especially among our children and the elderly. It’s about time that we took this action to protect Californians, but now EPA needs to adopt similar protections for the rest of the country.”

Earlier this year, the EPA issued a report that found that placing catalytic converters on lawnmowers and other small engines to limit emissions has no detrimental impact on the safety of these devices.