Bill Text: NJ A1939 | 2022-2023 | Regular Session | Introduced


Bill Title: Directs BPU to establish rebate program for purchase of electric or battery powered leaf blowers.

Spectrum: Partisan Bill (Democrat 2-0)

Status: (Introduced) 2022-01-11 - Introduced, Referred to Assembly Environment and Solid Waste Committee [A1939 Detail]

Download: New_Jersey-2022-A1939-Introduced.html

ASSEMBLY, No. 1939

STATE OF NEW JERSEY

220th LEGISLATURE

 

PRE-FILED FOR INTRODUCTION IN THE 2022 SESSION

 


 

Sponsored by:

Assemblywoman  LISA SWAIN

District 38 (Bergen and Passaic)

 

 

 

 

SYNOPSIS

     Directs BPU to establish rebate program for purchase of electric or battery powered leaf blowers.

 

CURRENT VERSION OF TEXT

     Introduced Pending Technical Review by Legislative Counsel.

  


An Act concerning leaf blowers and supplementing Title 48 of the Revised Statutes.

 

     Be It Enacted by the Senate and General Assembly of the State of New Jersey:

 

     1.    a.  Notwithstanding any law, rule, regulation or order to the contrary, beginning with the next comprehensive resource analysis conducted pursuant to paragraph (3) of subsection a. of section 12 of P.L.1999, c.23 (C.48:3-60) following the date of enactment of this section, the board shall establish a program to provide rebates to residents and businesses for the purchase of electric-powered or battery-powered leaf blowers.  In establishing the program, the board shall take into consideration the environmental benefits of reducing the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the State. 

     The board shall determine the appropriate level of funding from the societal benefits charge for the rebate program, the types of electric-powered or battery-powered leaf blowers eligible for a rebate, and the form and manner for residents and businesses to apply for a rebate.  The board shall advertise the availability of rebates pursuant to this section in the same manner that it advertises the availability of incentives for the purchase of energy efficient appliances through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program.

     b.    As used in this section:

     "Board" means the Board of Public Utilities.

     "Gas-powered leaf blower" means a leaf blower that has a two-stroke or four-stroke engine and uses gasoline or a gasoline and oil blend as fuel.

 

     2.    This act shall take effect immediately.

 

 

STATEMENT

 

     This bill directs the Board of Public Utilities (BPU) to establish a rebate program for the purchase of electric-powered or battery-powered leaf blowers.  In establishing the program, the BPU is directed to take into consideration the environmental benefits of reducing the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the State.  The bill requires the BPU to determine the appropriate level of funding for the rebate program, the types of electric-powered or battery-powered leaf blowers eligible for a rebate, and the form and manner for residents and businesses to apply for a rebate.  The board would advertise the availability of rebates in the same manner that it advertises the availability of incentives for the purchase of energy efficient appliances through the New Jersey Clean Energy Program.  The rebate program would be funded through the societal benefits charge. 

     Gas-powered leaf blowers emit high rates of pollutants, including, but not limited to, carbon monoxide, nitrous oxides, hydrocarbons, unburnt gasoline, and fine particulate matter.  For example, the amount of carbon monoxide emitted from a typical backpack gas-powered leaf blower for just one hour is equal to the amount of carbon monoxide emitted from the tailpipe of an automobile operating for over eight hours, and, for the other pollutants, the amounts are even greater.  The chemical pollutants that gas-powered leaf blowers emit may contribute to smog formation and acid rain.

     In addition to environmental consequences, gas-powered leaf blowers are also associated with occupational health concerns.  Gas-powered leaf blowers send dust and other small particles into the air for considerable distances, including, but not limited to, animal feces, trace quantities of heavy metals such as lead, and allergens such as pollen and mold.  Gas-powered leaf blowers also generate noise at a decibel level capable of causing hearing loss in a short amount of time. 

     There are alternatives to gas-powered leaf blowers, including leaf blowers powered by lithium-ion batteries, which produce zero emissions and less noise than gas-powered leaf blowers.  This bill would incentivize the purchase of these environmentally-friendly models. 

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