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Washington Dems want people to serve jail time for using gas-powered lawn tools
Photo By Tom Williams/Roll Call/Getty Images

Washington Dems want people to serve jail time for using gas-powered lawn tools

Two Washington Democrats recently introduced a bill that could land people in jail for up to 364 days for using gas-powered lawn care tools.

State Reps. Amy Walen and Liz Berry last week introduced House Bill 1868, which aims to "reduc[e] emissions from outdoor power equipment."

According to the proposed legislation, gas- and diesel-powered landscaping tools "emit a host of air pollutants" that are "contributing to climate change and negatively impacting public health." The bill cites findings from the United States Environmental Protection Agency that stated gas-powered lawnmowers contribute 5% of the country's air pollution. According to the EPA, over 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled yearly while refueling outdoor power equipment.

"Nationally, the Department of Transportation data shows that one hour of running a gas lawnmower can contribute as much smog-forming pollution as driving a passenger car 300 miles," the bill claims. "One hour of running a gas leaf blower can contribute as much smog-forming pollution as driving a passenger car 1,100 miles."

Gas-powered lawn tools also cause asthma, hearing loss, and "other health issues," the legislation asserted. Additionally, it argued that, particularly with more individuals working from home, the noise from outdoor power equipment can be a nuisance. It also provides tax break incentives for new zero-emissions equipment.

The lawmakers argued that switching to all-electric power tools could generate health benefits and claimed that consumers are "ready for the transition."

"In some instances, electric and battery-operated equipment are just as powerful as gas, and more efficient," the bill contended.

The proposed legislation seeks to ban gas- and diesel-powered outdoor tools "produced on or after January 1, 2026, or as soon as the department determines is feasible, whichever is later."

The rule does not prohibit federal, state, or local government agencies from using the equipment in emergency or response situations. It also carves out an exception for using gas-powered power equipment when no "suitable zero emissions" alternative is available on the market.

If passed, the new rule would impact lawnmowers, hedge trimmers, chainsaws, leaf blowers, augers, wood chippers, pressure washers, snowblowers, and many other tools.

Operating a prohibited lawn care tool would be deemed a gross misdemeanor punishable by jail time. Offenders "shall be punished by a fine of not more than ten thousand dollars, or by imprisonment in the county jail for up to three hundred sixty-four days, or by both for each separate violation," according to state law.

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Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway

Candace Hathaway is a staff writer for Blaze News.
@candace_phx →