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Reducing Air Pollution from Lawn and Garden Equipment

Prevent Spills

Each year, more than 17 million gallons of fuel are spilled during the refueling of power lawn and garden equipment such as:

  • Lawnmowers
  • Garden tractors
  • Chainsaws
  • Trimmers
  • Chippers/shredders
  • Leafblowers
  • Tillers
  • Woodsplitters
A spill proof gas can is being used to fill a lawn mower.

Spilled fuel evaporates into the air and contributes to summer ozone problems. Consumers can help reduce air pollution by carefully handling and using gasoline. Metal storage containers equipped with a spill proof nozzle are best.

For example:

  • Use a metal gas can that can be easily handled and held. Pour slowly and smoothly while filling the tank.
  • Use a spout or funnel.
  • Avoid overfilling.
  • Tightly close the cap or spout and vent hole after filling the gas tank and after filling the gas can at the service station.
  • Transport and store the gas can and equipment out of direct sunlight and in a cool place.
  • Avoid tipping equipment on the side for cleaning when the gas tank is full.
  • Do not operate during ozone action days.

Emission Standards Established for Small Engines

Gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment emit air pollutants through exhaust.

A man on a riding lawn mower

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) estimates that 89 million pieces of lawn and garden equipment are a substantial source of ozone and carbon monoxide in many areas of the United States. These engines include most powered lawn and garden equipment and some utility, farm, construction and light industrial equipment.

To reduce these pollutant emissions, EPA has established national emission standards that manufacturers must meet for new lawn and garden equipment. These standards and additional new standards apply to new engines manufactured on or after September 1, 1997. These new, more efficient engines are designed to curb summertime ozone and carbon monoxide sources and other regulated pollutants by approximately 90 percent per EPA estimates.

Call the Ozone Hotline 1-800-535-1345


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  • NYSDEC
    Division of Air Resources
    SIP Planning
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    Albany, NY 12233-3251
    518-402-8396
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