Program Pays 80 Percent of Replacement Costs for Lawn and Grounds Equipment
Gov. M. Jodi Rell has announced a new state initiative that will reimburse cities and towns for 80 percent of the cost of purchasing new energy-efficient lawn and grounds maintenance equipment.
The Lawn Equipment Exchange Fund (LEEF) is administered by the Connecticut Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) The program has $500,000 available for reimbursements to cities and towns when they replace older equipment with new cleaner equipment that meets U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) or California small engine standards. The LEEF program will help to achieve reductions in overall air pollution, air toxics and greenhouse gasses.
“This innovative program will contribute to our ongoing efforts to make Connecticut’s air cleaner. The program is also a plus for municipal pocketbooks and local taxpayers, as it gives cities and towns an opportunity to replace outdated equipment at little cost. Just like getting old cars off the road is a real benefit to our environment, mothballing old lawnmowers helps us all breathe a little easier,” Governor Rell said.
According to EPA, an older gasoline-powered push mower emits as much hourly pollution as 11 cars and an older riding mower emits as much hourly pollution as 34 cars. This air pollution contributes to the formation of ozone, or smog, and haze in Connecticut. By replacing older equipment, municipalities can have equipment that is up to 70 percent cleaner than the old equipment.”
The program allows municipalities to seek an 80% reimbursement for purchasing replacement equipment such as:
- Lawn mowers
- Leaf blowers and vacuums
- Shredders and chippers
- Selected 2- and 4-cycle equipments such as chainsaws, trimmers, bush saws and edgers
Because this program is designed to combat emissions issues during warm weather months when air quality is more of an issue, equipment such as snow blowers and snow throwers are not eligible.
“As we continue to make major strides toward cleaning up large sources of air pollution we cannot lose sight of smaller, but also significant, sources of emissions,” the Governor said.
The program is financed with settlement funds from an interstate air pollution case filed by Connecticut, New York and New Jersey in the fall of 1999 against a Midwestern power generator, Ohio Edison. In August 2003, a Federal Judge ruled in favor of Connecticut and the other states, finding that the company had violated the Clean Air Act’s New Source Review (NSR) provisions.
For further information on the LEEF and application procedures, visit the DEP’s website at www.ct.gov/dep/mowerexchange.
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