SACRAMENTO – The California Air Resources Board reached a settlement agreement with Briggs and Stratton LLC of Milwaukee, Wisc., a major producer of engines for outdoor power equipment, for $117,314 for the company’s violations of the Small Off-Road Engine (SORE) Regulation. The regulation limits emissions of oxides of nitrogen and hydrocarbons from spark-ignited, small off-road engines, including those found in landscape equipment, small power tools, and portable generators.
CARB staff conducted compliance testing of some Briggs and Stratton engines sold in California and found that certain model year 2018 engines did not meet the evaporative emissions limit and, therefore, failed testing.
“Small off-road engine manufacturers that skirt California’s clean air regulations will be held accountable to protect our air and public health,” said CARB Executive Officer Dr. Steven Cliff. “These engines can be a significant culprit of evaporative emissions, and due to the sheer number of them in the state, it is critical that they meet and comply with established standards. Going forward, zero-emissions equipment will make small-engine air pollution a thing of the past.”
Briggs and Stratton’s settlement includes a $58,657 civil penalty thatwill contribute to California’s Air Pollution Control Fund and $58,657 to be split between two Supplemental Environmental Projects (SEPs), which are community-based projects funded by penalties received during the settlement of enforcement actions. The two projects that will receive funding are tree planting at Malaga Recreation Park with Tree Fresno and a community-based monitoring and assessment program in Fresno with Central California Environmental Justice Network.
Additionally, the settlement agreement includes a voluntary disclosure by Briggs and Stratton that the company had mislabeled certain model year 2020–2022 SOREs sold in California.
Small off-road engines are a major source of pollution in California, surpassing light-duty passenger cars as a source of smog-forming emissions in 2021. This includes the emissions of raw fuel that continue to evaporate from engines, lawn mowers and other equipment even when they are powered off. To address this major source of smog-forming emissions, CARB passed a new regulation in 2021 to transition SORE to zero-emission technologies. This will help California meet its required federal clean air standards, clean the air, and significantly reduce harmful emissions for those who routinely work with SORE equipment.
CARB's mission is to promote and protect public health, welfare, and ecological resources through effective reduction of air pollutants while recognizing and considering effects on the economy. CARB is the lead agency for climate change programs and oversees all air pollution control efforts in California to attain and maintain health-based air quality standards.