EPA proposes stricter emission regulations for lawn equipment

Handheld engines used in lawn trimmers, brush cutters and chainsaws are likely to be subject to further hydrocarbon and nitrogen oxide emission reduction targets in the US.

So-called small spark ignition engines produce approximately 10 per cent of the US’s mobile source hydrocarbon emissions, and are the single largest contributor after road-based sources.

The EPA originally proposed further emission controls in January 1998, but the Agency has now re-submitted the “phase 2” controls, citing “rapid advances in emission control technologies for handheld engines”. If the re-submitted controls are passed they will lead, according to the EPA, to a 78 per cent reduction in the emissions beyond the current, phase 1controls.

The re-submitted requirements are similar to those recently adopted by California, in that they ensure that engines continue to comply with emission standards throughout their life.

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