South Portland city council considers a ban on gas-powered lawn tools

Published: Mar. 29, 2023 at 7:02 AM EDT
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SOUTH PORTLAND, Maine (WMTW) - South Portland city councilors discussed a possible ban on gas-powered lawnmowers and blowers during a meeting on Tuesday night.

The city has been collaborating with Portland to meet new environmental sustainability goals. The joint effort, referred to as One Climate Future, aims to phase out fossil fuels and reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050.

As part of that goal, the council will consider a ban on the use of gas-powered lawn tools.

“We still have enormous influence over the climate for the rest of the century,” said South Portland sustainability director Julie Rosenbach. “We have a grand challenge, and we have a grand opportunity in front of us.”

Some locals are concerned about the potential cost of replacing their existing lawn tools with electric appliances, but others say it’s a necessary sacrifice to combat climate change.

“We’ve heard that the Gulf of Maine is heating up faster than 99% of the other large bodies of water on the planet and then on the other hand, we’ve heard from people who will be damned if they’re going to part with their gas mowers,” said South Portland resident Jeff Steinbrink.

The city council will move the idea to a workshop. The details of a ban would still need to be worked out, but councilors indicate that it would exempt lawn care business owners and provide ample time for locals to transition to electric.