CITY NEWS | By Keila dos Santos
Ojai Cuts Ties With Municipal Lawn Emissions
OJAI, CA (AUGUST 2, 2018) — This morning at Libbey Park, The City of Ojai along with the Ventura County Air Pollution Control District held a ribbon-cutting ceremony in downtown Libbey Park. The purpose was to display and describe newly acquired solar-powered equipment to service the municipal park and landscape maintenance needs of the City.
In 1998 councilmember Suza Francina initiated the movement by requesting a conscientious approach to climate change; specifically regarding oil and carbon emissions. The California Air Resources Board projects that by the early 2020s air pollution from gasoline-powered lawn and garden equipment will exceed the combined emissions from all passenger vehicles. Due to the introduction of much cleaner passenger vehicles, emissions are expected to decline dramatically. Small off-road engines (such as gas-powered mowers and blowers) have been slow to adopt similar pollution control technologies, despite similar technological advancements.
The idea became a reality when Hearing Board and Clean Air Advisory Fund of Ventura provided a grant to the city to purchase this equipment. Ojai became the first city in Ventura County to transition their public works from gas-powered landscape tools to electric. Hopefully, this step by Ojai’s City council will set a precedent for other cities.