For most of us the summer is winding down and that unpleasant chore of mowing the lawn will be coming to an end over the next month or two. Unless of course you live in a sun-filled area year round, in which case the rest of us have little sympathy for your continued mowing. To complement our distaste for pushing the mower around, mowers also tend to spew out clouds of unmitigated exhaust which contributes, and more than you would think, to the quality of our air. The EPA, in its push to eliminate emissions from “nonroad” sources, is taking on small gas engines in the form of lawn movers, garden equipment, and even boat engines in a bit to tackle smog and general air pollutants.
While most people might not equate a small engine with smog or substantial emissions, their cumulative impact on the environment is quite large. These engines do not tend to have catalytic converters, a device used to lower emissions, commonly found in automobiles,and therefore can produce 4 times the amount of pollution than from a car per hour. These emissions include nitrogen oxide, CO2, unburnt hydrocarbons, carbon monoxide, etc.. And since refueling is done at home, and with mostly 2-cycle engines, gasoline and oil are spilled regularly, to the tune of an estimated 17 million gallons of fuel annually.
Under the EPAs new regulations, “gas-powered engines in lawn and garden equipment will be required to cut smog-forming emissions by 35 percent, while engines in personal watercraft will have to cut smog-forming emissions by 70 percent and reduce carbon monoxide emissions by 20 percent.” The required comply-by dates are 2011 and 2010 respectively, a short time period that will make industry compliance a tricky thing, so we expect a certain backlash and accompanying lobbying.
Increases in efficiency, resulting from the new rules, are expected to save 190 million gallons of gas annually, a huge amount considering what it’s being used in.
written by Brianne, September 08, 2008
written by Robert Arartari, September 09, 2008
written by stephanie, September 12, 2008
written by Glenn Negri, June 29, 2009
written by Bry, June 26, 2010
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