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E-M:/ The perfect example of American pigheadedness

Enviro-Mich message from jmgear <jmgear@acd.net>

April 24, 2006
*A Greener Way to Cut the Grass Runs Afoul of a Powerful Lobby *
By _FELICITY BARRINGER_ <http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/b/felicity_barringer/index.html?inline=nyt-per>

ALPHARETTA, Ga. — Some have automatic transmissions. Drink holders. Electrical outlets. That staple of the American suburb, the lawn mower, now has many features of a late-model car. But not a catalytic converter, a muscular piece of antipollution engineering. At least not yet.

So when Heidi Ramaekers mows her yard here in lush exurban Atlanta, she inhales the competing scents of spring: the damp sweetness of grass cuttings and an acrid chaser of hydrocarbons. Mix in some of the nitrogen oxides from her push mower's exhaust and cook it in the sun for a bit. Presto, she has made smog.

As warm days move north and America's lawns awake and grow, homeowners and lawn care services are revving up some of the dirtiest engines in the national garage.

Gallon for gallon — or, given the size of lawnmower tanks, quart for quart — the 2006 lawn mower engines contribute 93 times more smog-forming emissions than 2006 cars, according to the California Air Resources Board. In California, lawn mowers provided more than 2 percent of the smog-forming pollution from all engines.

But as soon as air pollution regulators suggested adding a golf-ball-size catalytic converter to the lawn mower, they found themselves in one of their fiercest political battles of the past decade.

. . . (more)

_http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/24/us/24lawn.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print_ <http://www.nytimes.com/2006/04/24/us/24lawn.html?th=&emc=th&pagewanted=print>

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