California Air Resource Board Updates 2024 Zero-Emission Regulations


The California Air Resource Board Updated Regulations Requiring Most Small Off-Road Engines to be Zero-Emission by 2024

The California Air Resources Board today approved a measure that will require most newly manufactured small off-road engines such as those found in leaf blowers, lawn mowers and other equipment be zero emission starting in 2024. Portable generators, including those in recreational vehicles, would be required to meet more stringent standards in 2024 and meet zero-emission standards starting in 2028.

The new requirement, an amendment to CARB’s existing small off-road engine regulations first adopted in 1990, applies to manufacturers and will impact new equipment (Model Year 2024 and later) only. Californians can continue to operate their current CARB-compliant gasoline-powered SORE equipment; there will be no “ban” on using older models or used equipment purchased in the future. Older models on store shelves can also be purchased even if they are gasoline-powered.

California Air Resource Board’s Proposed Amendments to Zero-Emission Equipment Requirements

  • Set new engine emission standards to zero in two phases
  • Expand existing emission reduction credit programs
  • Add a new, tiered emission reduction credit program for zero-emission generators
  • Make other updates to regulations and test procedures.

Starting in January 2024

  • Small off-road engines (SORE) Equipment using a gas-powered 25 horsepower engine or smaller cannot be manufactured for sale in California. Manufacturers can only make and sell ZEE (zero-emission equipment) = battery-powered starting in 2024.
  • Equipment NOT included: Diesel and stationary engines are NOT included.
  • Generators, pressure washers, diesel and stationary engines are NOT included but will need to comply with stricter carburetor regulations.
  • Retail stores can sell their remaining gas-powered equipment inventory NOT made after 2024.
  • Customers can continue to use their existing gas-powered equipment until it wears out.
  • There is $30 million in incentive funds to be distributed as rebates. California Carb is working on a plan how to distribute the funds. Their intent is to use the funds to support small gardeners and landscapers reduce the expensive cost to buy battery-powered equipment. They must create a rebate program and will work with organizations like Bay Area Quality Management and the Tri-Valley Air Quality Community Alliance to distribute the rebates. Gardenland is already a strategic partner with these groups.
  • The California Air Resource Board of Directors are aware they need to create more incentive funds ($30M is not enough money), and they will review equipment in detail every year (they are aware some gas-powered equipment does not have an adequate battery-powered replacement).

Starting in January 2028

  • Gas-powered generators and pressure washers will need to comply with ZEE (zero-emission equipment) regulations.