California Town Enacts Ordinance #1173 Banning Gas-Powered Landscape Equipment, Encourages Shift to Electric

In a significant environmental move, a new town law, Ordinance #1173, effective from January 1, 2024, has been introduced to ban the use of gas-powered landscape equipment within town limits in California. This law represents a critical step towards reducing greenhouse gas emissions and aligns with the state’s broader environmental policies.

Under this new ordinance, residents, town staff, contractors, and commercial landscapers are required to use only electric landscaping equipment, be it battery-operated or corded. This shift away from gas-powered tools encompasses a wide range of equipment, including leaf blowers, string trimmers, hedge trimmers, edgers, pole saws, chainsaws, and mowers. Notably, the law exempts chainsaws with blades or blade attachments 18 inches or longer and brush cutters.

The primary objective of this law is to mitigate the town’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and protect the health and safety of both residents and equipment operators. Gas-powered landscaping tools are known to emit significant air pollutants, contributing to environmental degradation and potential health risks. By transitioning to electric equipment, the town aims to create a cleaner, safer environment.

This local ordinance aligns with California’s broader environmental initiatives. In 2024, the state will enact Assembly Bill 1346, which bans the sale of new gas-powered landscape equipment. This move is part of California’s ambitious plan to transition to 100% zero-emission off-road vehicles and equipment by 2035, marking a significant step in the state’s commitment to environmental sustainability.

To facilitate this transition for residents, the town has implemented a trade-in and rebate program. This program allows residents to trade in their old gas-powered equipment, after draining it of fluids, in exchange for a rebate discount on new electric landscape equipment. This initiative not only eases the financial burden of transitioning to electric equipment but also encourages residents to participate actively in the town’s environmental goals.

The availability of the rebate application in both English and Spanish ensures that the program is accessible to a wider range of residents, promoting inclusivity in environmental action.
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The enactment of Ordinance #1173 by the town in California is a progressive step towards environmental conservation and public health. By banning gas-powered landscape equipment and promoting electric alternatives through a rebate program, the town aligns with the state’s environmental policies and sets an example for other communities to follow in the pursuit of a more sustainable and healthier environment.

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