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House of Representatives
Session of 2023 - 2024 Regular Session


Posted: September 26, 2023 09:41 AM
From: Representative Melissa L. Shusterman
To: All House members
Subject: Zero Emissions Lawn Care Task Force
Gas-powered lawn and garden tools represent about 85 percent of what is known as small off-road engine (SORE) equipment in the United States. Such equipment is often manufactured without the pollution controls placed on gas-powered vehicles and thus burns a dirtier fuel mix. Moreover, operating a gas-powered commercial lawn mower for one hour emits as much pollution as driving a passenger car about 300 miles.
Recognizing such a substantial contribution to pollution, more than 100 local governments in the United States have enacted at least partial bans on the use of gas-powered lawn equipment. Similar proposals have been made in Pennsylvania’s neighboring states of New Jersey, New York, and Maryland. During a time when outdoor temperatures are reaching life-threatening levels, we must act with urgency to limit sources of significant pollution, such as gas-powered equipment.
In an effort to join these states at the forefront of climate stewardship, I am introducing legislation to establish a Zero Emissions Lawn Care Task Force. The task force would develop a plan to phase out gas-powered lawn and garden equipment in Pennsylvania. In doing so, it would consider issues of affordability and accessibility for disadvantaged communities in its recommendations and establish an incentive program for the switch to battery-powered alternatives.
Please join me in taking charge of Pennsylvania’s environmental future by signing on to this proposal.