Calif. phasing out small gas engines

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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
in all fairness, we have all commented on how we see these new regulations (and by implication how we see those who implemented them), even though most of us don't live there.
True. But most reasonable people comment on the actual regulation not just the headline.
 
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mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
466
California redwood coast
Oops, I didn't intend to have a politics focused thread. To be honest, when I first learned about that legislation , it did trigger a strong initial reaction from me. (It doesn't help that I'm not a Newsom fan, but that's because I disagree about his manner of generosity with the budget surplus, not because of his environmental positions.)

I did read the legislation. What leaves a lot up in the air is the "whichever is later" clause in "adopt cost-effective and technologically feasible regulations to prohibit engine exhaust and evaporative emissions from new small off-road engines, as defined by the state board. Those regulations shall apply to engines produced on or after January 1, 2024, or as soon as the state board determines is feasible, whichever is later."

So , depending on who is calling the shots, this aim of eliminating the sale of certain small engines might not take place for many, many years - or as soon as 2 years.

Now there's going to be a lot of judgement calls because it adds:

"...the state board shall consider all of the following:
(A) Emissions from small off-road engines in the state.
(B) Expected timelines for zero-emission small off-road equipment development.
(C) Increased demand for electricity from added charging requirements for more zero-emission small off-road equipment.
(D) Use cases of both commercial and residential lawn and garden users.
(E) Expected availability of zero-emission generators and emergency response equipment."

(I don't really understand the zero-emission generators component.)

Apart from this legislation, while mowing the lawn, the news article did have me pondering about the pollution statements. Is my mower or leaf blower really that terrible for air quality? Or are cars really that clean? I guess I need to educate myself some more.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
Modern cars are that clean. Old cars were as dirty as the lawnmower (50s cars?). Regulations have resulted in improvements in cars - and not as much in small engines as mowers.
 
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tlc1976

Minister of Fire
Oct 7, 2012
890
Northwest Lower Michigan
I’m surprised small engines are that dirty compared to cars. At least 4 cycle engines anyway. After all, they typically run at one speed, I would think in the peak power band. Or is it because they are built to be light and affordable? Wonder how much a mini cat converter would help?

When I read the zero emissions generator part, I gathered it was written by a lawmaker who knew nothing about the subject. But I suppose it could be batteries, windmills, or solar.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,470
SE North Carolina
So , depending on who is calling the shots, this aim of eliminating the sale of certain small engines might not take place for many, many years - or as soon as 2 years.

Now there's going to be a lot of judgement calls because it adds:
Exactly!! This is my interpretation as well. I was surprised how vague it and short it was. It will take quite some time to write the actual regulations.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,202
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
The definition of pollution varies depending on the source, and that's where people get hooked in the worse than a car headline. Small power equipment produces more NOx, CO, soot, and HC (unburnt/partially burnt hydrocarbons) than a traditional car with complex emissions equipment such as exhaust gas recirculation and catalytic converters. But cars do produce more CO2 which is directly related to total fuel consumed. 2 strokes are particularly bad because they often misfire at idle sending a complete cylinder full of air/fuel mixture out the exhaust into the air, as well as due to the lubricating oils that are mixed with the fuel that are vaporized and sent out the exhaust. 2 Strokes are also almost always tuned rich to prevent detonation and melting of the aluminum piston, again at the cost of sending HC, CO and soot out the exhaust.

In terms of air quality, NOx, CO, soot and HC and terrible things for human health, but these combustion byproducts are relatively short lived. NOx reacts with water to form nitric acids, which are terrible for the eyes and lungs, CO is also a poison and displaces oxygen in the blood and in high enough concentration is fatal, breathing hydrocarbons is dangerous for obvious reasons, as is soot especially in the form of PM2.5.

In terms of global warming CO2, HC (if in the form of methane), and NOx are greenhouse gases and contribute to climate change. CO2 is the longest lived of these and poses the largest long term risk to climate stability. Although methane and NOx can't be ignored in the sort term.

I think what should be of greatest interest to this forum in particular is the differences in these 2 categories. Wood burning appliances are particularly polluting when compared to many of their common fossil fueled counterparts in terms of air quality, a single cold start in a wood stove can produce more particulate matter than a modern natural gas furnace would in an entire year. Yet in the second category a wood stove is much cleaner, only producing CO2 that would have been released by the wood rotting when the tree died anyway, effectively carbon neutral, albeit the exact quantity of this is debated and varies by the source from which the wood came.

What concerns me about this law is not what it means in itself, but what it might represent for the future. In some areas I believe the life of wood heat is drawing to an end, where its tremendous benefits in terms of carbon neutral heat will be overshadowed by its risks to air quality. I believe there is still room for improvement of woodstove emissions, and certain manufacturers have proved this with the results of their lab tests. But I believe there needs to be another 10 times improvement of the 2020 emissions standard to ensure woodheat has a viable future long term.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,261
Downeast Maine
Modern cars are that clean. Old cars were as dirty as the lawnmower (50s cars?). Regulations have resulted in improvements in cars - and not as much in small engines as mowers.
Cars didn't really get clean until the 70's with the forced introduction of cats and unleaded fuel. On the other hand the now old 6.2 Ford Raptor had enough emissions equipment to render the exhaust gasses cleaner than the intake air from Los Angeles (not a high bar admittedly). I think my wife's Fiat 500 Abarth with 1.4l turbo I4 has worse emissions than that same F150 Raptor with 6.2l V8. I don't think the tiny cats on outdoor power equipment really helps very much, and it's not like they ever get replaced. Plus there are a group of people who actively seek to remove emissions components from their OPE, tractors, vehicles, etc.

If I ever find the article from Car and Driver where they measured the emissions I will post it. They also talk about how much dirtier lawn mowers and stuff like that are.

Edit: Turns out the article was Edmunds, and that's why I could not find it.

 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
466
California redwood coast
Cars didn't really get clean until the 70's with the forced introduction of cats and unleaded fuel. On the other hand the now old 6.2 Ford Raptor had enough emissions equipment to render the exhaust gasses cleaner than the intake air from Los Angeles (not a high bar admittedly). I think my wife's Fiat 500 Abarth with 1.4l turbo I4 has worse emissions than that same F150 Raptor with 6.2l V8. I don't think the tiny cats on outdoor power equipment really helps very much, and it's not like they ever get replaced. Plus there are a group of people who actively seek to remove emissions components from their OPE, tractors, vehicles, etc.

If I ever find the article from Car and Driver where they measured the emissions I will post it. They also talk about how much dirtier lawn mowers and stuff like that are.

Edit: Turns out the article was Edmunds, and that's why I could not find it.

Interesting article. That's probably the type of data that motivated the governor and legislature to approve such a law.
 
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SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,261
Downeast Maine
Interesting article. That's probably the type of data that motivated the governor and legislature to approve such a law.
Your comment reminded me of the post. It was eye opening for me as well.
 

ABMax24

Minister of Fire
Sep 18, 2019
1,202
Grande Prairie, Alberta, Canada
What that's Edmunds article doesn't clarify is if those emissions are in g/hp or if that is total emissions. Generally in the automotive world emissions are rated in g/hp-hr. Being that the vehicles are being run on a Dyno I have suspicion believe this number is being calculated as g/hp-hr.

For example tier 4 diesel engines are required to emit less than 0.02g/hp-hr of PM which seems like a very small number, but a Cummins X15 for example in a semi is allowed to output 12.1 grams per hour of PM at full load.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,261
Downeast Maine
What that's Edmunds article doesn't clarify is if those emissions are in g/hp or if that is total emissions. Generally in the automotive world emissions are rated in g/hp-hr. Being that the vehicles are being run on a Dyno I have suspicion believe this number is being calculated as g/hp-hr.

For example tier 4 diesel engines are required to emit less than 0.02g/hp-hr of PM which seems like a very small number, but a Cummins X15 for example in a semi is allowed to output 12.1 grams per hour of PM at full load.
It also isn't a scholarly study.
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
331
Newcastle, Ca.
I live in Nor Cal. Did not read the full legislation but did some quick research several days ago. 25 hp engines and below will no longer be sold in California as of Jan 1 2024. This includes generators, lawnmowers and other equipment. Farmers are exempt.

Reno Nevada is only 90 mins away and will get my business. Unless of course, California sets up check points in Interstate 80 . Yeah, that sounds crazy but California politicians are crazy and like more govt and control.
 
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bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Honestly. I have a battery powered leaf blower. My dad has a chainsaw and I really don't think I will be buying any more small gas equipment anyway.

But can you provide a link saying those will all be banned by 2024? That is not what the legislation linked to said at all.
 

SpaceBus

Minister of Fire
Nov 18, 2018
6,261
Downeast Maine
Agreed, I'm avoiding any more ICE powered tools if I can avoid it.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Battery won't completely replace my chainsaw at this point. But by the time I need a new one I would bet they will be able to.
 

stoveliker

Minister of Fire
Nov 17, 2019
1,924
Long Island NY
[and now I'll be seen as the sissy on the block]

I have a (corded) electric chainsaw. 18" bar. For log drops to me (suburban, not far out in the countryside) this is ideal. Never any starting problems. Keep the chain sharpened, and it goes through oak or black locust as easily as the MS 250 of my friend that I have borrowed before.

Not so much noise (chainsaws make a LOT of noise) - still ear protection though. Higher frequency sound. Can put it aside and *immediately* start sawing again when I need it. (No needles idling noise and smell.) So keeps the neighbors happier too.

The only disadvantage (again, for a suburban log drop setting) is that one needs to be careful ... about the cord. And I can't go get wood on my own. But then again, I have my tree company on speed dial and they are happy to deliver, saving them $$ at the landfill.

So, there you have it. Sissy saw. But it works for me.

To keep at least one corner of my man card: I do have an X27 and a Fiskars maul ... however, if I ever buy a splitter, it'd likely be electric too. I've once used a gas one for two days 6 hrs each, and I can say I hated it. Splitting while having a conversation with friends or family is nice.

This won't work for everyone. But for me it does. And I think for many people the hesitance to try electric equipment is there. (Me too, lawnmower, weed whacker, blower, - and generator, no idea how that would be w/o ICE.) But I thought that the corded saw was worth the try as it was not that expensive (no batteries).

Confession made :)
 

mar13

Feeling the Heat
Nov 5, 2018
466
California redwood coast
I live in Nor Cal. Did not read the full legislation but did some quick research several days ago. 25 hp engines and below will no longer be sold in California as of Jan 1 2024. This includes generators, lawnmowers and other equipment. Farmers are exempt.

Reno Nevada is only 90 mins away and will get my business. Unless of course, California sets up check points in Interstate 80 . Yeah, that sounds crazy but California politicians are crazy and like more govt and control.
A local machine shop did tell me that if a dealer is found out to be selling equipment to out-of-state folks, say a Honda dealer in Oregon sells to lots of Californians, that store could lose their dealership. Now how that would found out , is a question. Perhaps via excessive warranty claims filed in California for machines initially warranted in Oregon or Nevada?

Wait and see what happens with the law. Perhaps they'll ban gas leaf blowers in 2024, but likely not pro-level lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. There are a lot of unknowns written into the law that will have to play out with time.
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
331
Newcastle, Ca.
Honestly. I have a battery powered leaf blower. My dad has a chainsaw and I really don't think I will be buying any more small gas equipment anyway.

But can you provide a link saying those will all be banned by 2024? That is not what the legislation linked to said at all.

Their are many articles about this. I never mentioned chainsaws although that could be possible because Newscum wants professional landscapers to use battery powered equipment. What I read does mention small engines 25hp or less and generators and lawn mowers.... Like all else, time will tell exactly what will be enforced.
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Their are many articles about this. I never mentioned chainsaws although that could be possible because Newscum wants professional landscapers to use battery powered equipment. What I read does mention small engines 25hp or less and generators and lawn mowers.... Like all else, time will tell exactly what will be enforced.
But you are reading articles not the actual legislation right?
 

ColdNorCal

Feeling the Heat
Mar 6, 2018
331
Newcastle, Ca.
But you are reading articles not the actual legislation right?

That is what I posted earlier. The articles read the legislation and say the same thing. No problem if you read something else. Not going to worry much until it happens. Just another govt thing that is out of my control. I vote and go home...

A local machine shop did tell me that if a dealer is found out to be selling equipment to out-of-state folks, say a Honda dealer in Oregon sells to lots of Californians, that store could lose their dealership. Now how that would found out , is a question. Perhaps via excessive warranty claims filed in California for machines initially warranted in Oregon or Nevada?

Wait and see what happens with the law. Perhaps they'll ban gas leaf blowers in 2024, but likely not pro-level lawn mowers, chainsaws, etc. There are a lot of unknowns written into the law that will have to play out with time.

The politics, more govt control, bothers me more than the possible inconvenience. I fix most things myself. And theirs Craigslist, FB Marketplace, garage sales, Denios swap meet.. and cash and carry in Nevada.
 

EbS-P

Minister of Fire
Jan 19, 2019
1,470
SE North Carolina
it’s all been turned over to the CARB now. Anyone can speculate but until they release draft rules it’s just that. It’s going to take time. I find corporate entities threatening dealers for not checking IDs a stretch right now. They are probably consumed with supply chain and distribution issues. People work in more than one state. The state that issues your drivers license is your home but you follow the rules where you work. Possession of the small ICE is not a crime. Even in CA.

Like it or not air quality and emissions are deem a global issue that needs addressed. This is likely to be the first of many steps.
 
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Bad LP

Minister of Fire
Nov 28, 2014
1,785
Northern Maine
it’s all been turned over to the CARB now. Anyone can speculate but until they release draft rules it’s just that. It’s going to take time. I find corporate entities threatening dealers for not checking IDs a stretch right now. They are probably consumed with supply chain and distribution issues. People work in more than one state. The state that issues your drivers license is your home but you follow the rules where you work. Possession of the small ICE is not a crime. Even in CA.

Like it or not air quality and emissions are deem a global issue that needs addressed. This is likely to be the first of many steps.
Nothing like kicking one of the more less polluting countries in the knees versus say one like China or something. Right?
I have no kids to worry about but for those of you who do......
 

bholler

Chimney sweep
Staff member
Jan 14, 2014
26,106
central pa
Nothing like kicking one of the more less polluting countries in the knees versus say one like China or something. Right?
I have no kids to worry about but for those of you who do......
How is this kicking anyone in the knees? And the argument that we might as well do nothing because others are worse than us is just absurd I am sorry.
 
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