A bill in the Washington State legislature could criminalize ownership of gas-powered leaf blowers if enacted. 

House Bill 1868 claims “gasoline-powered and diesel-powered landscaping and other outdoor power equipment emit a host of air pollutants, including nitrogen oxides, particulate matter, carbon dioxide, and other pollutants, contributing to climate change and negatively impacting public health.” The bill says it’ll incentivize the transition to phasing out of gas-powered equipment by deploying “tax relief” and a “temporary grant program” for carbon neutral equipment. 

Should the legislation pass, the ban will go into effect in January 2026. Failure to comply, were HB 1868 to pass, would result in 364 days imprisonment in county jail, a $10,000 penalty, or both. But there’s a catch: there will be exemptions carved out on a “temporary basis” for government agencies, commercial, or residential uses if “a suitable zero emissions outdoor power equipment technology does not exist to satisfy the needs of the specific use case.” 

Washington State isn’t the only place mulling this ban. 

Washington, D.C. will phase out leaf blowers in 2024. Miami Beach, Florida, and Evanston, Illinois, already have ordinances banning their use in place. Seattle City Council enacted a leaf blower phase-out for city usage by 2025 and homeowners by 2027, respectively. And California will institute a statewide ban on gas-powered outdoor equipment commencing next summer, as well.

Unsurprisingly, these bans are merely costly “feel good” gestures that will be difficult to enforce on landscaping businesses and consumers. 

Electric leaf blowers drain faster than their gas counterparts, so landscapers will have to swap out electric batteries “two or three times a shift.” Not to mention, electric alternatives are not as affordable as advertised. Electric alternatives contain expensive lithium-ion batteries that might require 30 minutes of charging time. Another report found commercial-grade electric leaf blowers cost $2,600 compared to $600 gas-powered models.

The Professional Landcare Network argues electric-powered leaf blowers are an unacceptable substitute that “reduce efficiency by 50 percent.” 

Are emissions from gas leaf blowers worse than car emissions? Since outdoor equipment is used on an intermittent basis, unlike cars, the group said they cannot be compared on equal footing since “one year of volatile organic compound (VOC) emissions from cars compares to 21 years of emissions from portable lawn and garden products.” 

“Portable lawn and garden equipment contributes only 0.8 percent of all U.S. VOC emissions, 0.6 percent of carbon monoxide emissions, and no nitrogen oxide emissions,” added the group.

These bans in the name of fighting climate change aren’t isolated to lawn equipment. 

The federal government is creeping into American life by taking action on over 100 items in homes—including gas stoves and furnaces—that will do little to conserve energy or save on utility bills. IWF’s sister organization, Independent Women’s Network, recently launched a new appliance action center responding to these onerous, costly regulations.