Gallon for gallon...2006 lawn mower engines contribute 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars, according to the California Air Resources Board. In California, lawn mowers provided more than 2 percent of the smog-forming pollution from all engines.Some of the dirtiest engines on the market are those running our country's lawnmowers. The state of California wants to tighten emission requirements for small engines, which would almost certainly require catalytic converters on lawnmowers.
It sounds like a great idea, however, the lawnmower engine industry has dug their heels into the ground and are stridently opposing the regulation. They're concerned about the added cost to produce the engines. And certainly they're not worried about their own bottom line...
Patricia Hanz, an assistant general counsel for Briggs & Stratton, said, "We acknowledge that there's an air quality problem in California." But she added that Briggs engines were 70 percent cleaner than they were than 15 years ago, before regulation.Honestly, who wouldn't be willing to pay $20 to $25 more to not smell like exhaust after they mow their lawn? That it would be helping the environment is a bonus. I've long thought that cracking down on terribly polluting small engines, such as those in lawnmowers, snowmobiles, ATV's, and small construction equipment, would be a great step towards reducing smog.
To meet the new standards, she said, would require a minimum 30 percent price increase "across our product line."
Ms. Hanz did not explain the components of this projected price increase. The E.P.A. estimates that a catalytic converter and new hoses would cost a company about $20 to $25 per machine, on average.