Australia to study lawnmower pollution

A new initiative has been announced by the Australian government to fight pollution caused by motorboats and lawnmowers.

Malcolm Turnbull, minister for the environment and water resources said outboard engines and garden equipment were significant contributors to urban pollution.

Under the scheme, the Australian, state and territory governments will jointly fund a study into the viability of introducing regulations to control the emissions.

Mr Turnbull said: “”Outboard engines and garden equipment, such as lawnmowers and line trimmers, emit a variety of pollutants which can contribute significantly to urban smog and are potentially hazardous to our health.

“A brushcutter for example, can produce the same pollution as ten cars, and small engines in general can produce up to 20% of total hydrocarbon emissions on a summer weekend day in Sydney.

“This is why governments are jointly funding a study to look at the viability of introducing regulations to control these emissions.”

The Australian government will provide half the funding for the study, which is expected to be published in the first half of 2008.

State and territory governments will provide the remainder of the funds.

The Australian government is already funding a project to test engine emissions from a range of lawnmower and handheld garden equipment engines.

Mr Turnbull said: “The findings of this research will feed into the study announced today.”

He added: “We will also be working with the outboard industry to strengthen its Voluntary Outboard Emission Labelling Scheme (VELS).

“This scheme is believed to be a world first industry agreement for labelling outboard products.”

Kate Martin

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