THE SENATE

S.B. NO.

728

THIRTY-SECOND LEGISLATURE, 2023

 

STATE OF HAWAII

 

 

 

 

 

 

A BILL FOR AN ACT

 

 

RELATING TO air POLLUTION.

 

 

BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF HAWAII:

 


SECTION 1. The legislature finds that air and noise pollution from two-stroke engines is extremely detrimental to the quality of life for Hawaii's residents. The legislature further finds that, according to a 2015 study based on data from the United States Environmental Protection Agency, two-stroke engines are a major source of volatile organic compounds and criteria pollutants, such as carbon monoxide, nitrogen oxides, and carbon dioxide, which cause harmful air pollution. Additionally, the use of two-stroke engines increases the risk of gasoline spills and fire. Moreover, according to the United States Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, gas-powered lawn mowers and leaf blowers operate at approximately eighty to eighty-five decibels and can cause hearing damage after only two hours of exposure.

Currently, string trimmers, which are often referred to as "weed wackers", and leaf blowers are the most common machines powered by two-stroke engines in Hawaii. The legislature finds that, after the initial costs of switching from two-stroke engines to electric motors, electric motors are less costly to operate and maintain compared to gasoline-powered two-stroke engines.

Accordingly, the purpose of this Act is to reduce air and noise pollution in Hawaii by prohibiting the use of leaf blowers and string trimmers that are powered by two-stroke engines beginning on January 1, 2027.

SECTION 2. Chapter 342B, Hawaii Revised Statutes, is amended by adding a new section to part II to be appropriately designated and to read as follows:

"342B- Leaf blowers and string trimmers; two-stroke engines; prohibited. (a) Beginning January 1, 2027, no person shall operate a:

(1) Leaf blower; or

(2) String trimmer,

that is powered using a two-stroke engine in the State.

(b) Any person who violates this section shall be fined $50 for the first violation, $100 for the second violation, $200 for the third violation, and $500 for each subsequent violation.

(c) As used in this section:

"Leaf blower" has the same meaning as in section 342F-30.8.

"String trimmer":

(1) Means a hand-held garden tool that uses rotating blades or a rotating line to cut grass, weeds, and groundcover; and

(2) Includes devices referred to or marketed as strimmers, weed eaters, weed wackers, and whipper snappers.

"Two-stroke engine" means an internal combustion engine that completes a power cycle with two strokes of a piston."

SECTION 3. This Act does not affect rights and duties that matured, penalties that were incurred, and proceedings that were begun before its effective date.

SECTION 4. New statutory material is underscored.

SECTION 5. This Act shall take effect upon its approval.

 

INTRODUCED BY:

_____________________________

 

 


 


 

Report Title:

Pollution; Noise Pollution; Air Pollution; Two-Stroke Engines; String Trimmers; Leaf Blowers; Prohibition; Department of Health

 

Description:

Beginning 1/1/2027, prohibits the operation of leaf blowers or string trimmers that are powered using two-stroke engines. Establishes penalties.

 

 

 

The summary description of legislation appearing on this page is for informational purposes only and is not legislation or evidence of legislative intent.