EPA lawn mower regulations affecting prices

CAROLINA FOREST, SC (WMBF) - It's one of the biggest air pollutants, yet we all have one in our garage. The Environmental Protection Agency says it's time for you to be aware.

The problem is gas emissions coming out of standard lawn mowers. It's an issue especially in the summer time, when you can see people cranking their mowers just about every day.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says one gas-powered lawn mower releases as many pollutants as eight new cars driving 55 miles per hour, for the same amount of time. So when you mow the lawn you're adding to about five percent of the pollution in the air. EPA officials say that's big, especially for people with medical conditions as the summer days get hotter.

They also say the Grand Strand might be particularly clogging the air -- with the hundreds of golf courses needing maintenance. Each course uses gas powered mowers -- some going through nearly 40 gallons of gas a week.

"It's always in our thoughts," said golf course superintendent Michael Weinrich. "But right now these are the most efficient things we have so it's what we use."

There are electric lawn mowers, but they are only able to graze smaller yards. The EPA realized this, and has new regulations that took effect this year to help bring down the amount of pollution coming out of gas lawn mowers.

They're turning to manufacturers to make the changes, but you're dealing with effects. Companies are hiking the price of lawn mowers to meet the standards-- up to 20 dollars for lawn mowers, and up to 100 for riding mowers.

With these new regulations, the government hopes to reduce the pollution coming out of mowers by 35 percent.

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