EPA Clears the Way for Regulating Small Engine Emissions

And it turns out the biggest impediment to doing this in the first place was one of my home state’s bigger embarrassments, Sen. Kit Bond:

The Environmental Protection Agency cleared the way Friday for regulations to limit pollution from lawn mowers, jet skis and similar small machines.

Devices that clean the engines’ emissions do not pose a safety problem, the EPA said. Without new pollution controls, engines under 50 horsepower would account for 18 percent of smog-forming emissions from mobile sources by 2020, the agency has estimated.

Opposition from Sen. Kit Bond, R-Mo., whose home state has two factories owned by lawn mower engine maker Briggs & Stratton Corp., has delayed rules to regulate small-engine pollution.

After first trying to bar California from implementing its own small-engine rules, Bond last year insisted on a study of whether adding pollution-reducing catalytic converters to small engines could create fire risks. (my emphasis)

The EPA study released Friday concluded there are no such risks and said there can even be safety benefits from adding catalytic converters.

The conclusion means EPA can move forward to issue nationwide regulations for pollution from small engines. The agency also can grant California the waiver it is seeking to implement its own small-engine pollution rules.

EPA spokesman John Millett said the agency should be able to take both steps by the end of the year.

Of course, I’m wondering how much that study on lawnmowers bursting into flames cost taxpayers… Really, I don’t want to put jobs in Missouri at risk, but I’m not quite sure how regulating emissions does that. Of course, I’m a big fan of my reel mower, which cuts quite nicely with no emissions — don’t imagine Briggs and Stratton cares much for that approach, either… As small engines are the second biggest source of air pollution behind automobiles, this could have measureable impact on air quality — assuming the EPA decides to actually regulate such emissions, which is no sure thing… Obviously, I’m getting sleepy/punchy, so have at it… via Ranger Bob.

BTW, welcome visitors from CruncyCon (even the guy who called us evil leftists)! Ron, thanks for the link….

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