13 March 1998

Ryobi, a leading producer of outdoor power equipment, will testify at the California Air Resources Board's (ARB) 26 March 1998, meeting in support of stricter exhaust emission standards for lawn and garden equipment. At its March meeting the ARB will act on a staff proposal to reduce pollutants from gas powered lawn mowers, portable trimmers and blowers by as much as 70% by the year 2000.

"Ryobi supports clean air regulations for lawn and garden equipment in California," said Singh Suchdev, chief operating officer of Ryobi Outdoor Products. "And we encourage the ARB to act promptly to finalize their regulations. While others in our industry try to weaken and delay the rules, we think they are good for California and good for business."

Ryobi pioneered cleaner running engines for trimmers and blowers with the introduction of the world's first hand-held 4-cycle engine in 1994. Because of the success of this technology, Ryobi has stood apart from industry trade associations, such as the Portable Power Equipment Manufacturers Association (PPEMA), which oppose the next round of ARB clean air regulations.

"PPEMA represents just one segment of our industry, and they don't speak for companies like Ryobi that have invested heavily in cleaner running engines," said Mr. Suchdev. Ryobi's Director of Public Relations, Frank Coots, added, "The big difference between Ryobi and PPEMA is that Ryobi invests in developing new technology and meeting the air regulations, while PPEMA and its members invest in lawyers and lobbyists."

Ryobi produces more than 20% of all hand-held engines sold in the United States. Over the next three years, they will introduce a family of new 4-cycle residential and commercial engines, ranging in size from 26cc to 60cc displacement and at price points in line with today's products.

"Our engines will power a wide range of portable equipment like grass trimmers, brush cutters, leaf blowers, generators and other tools," said Coots. "While we think we are the best, we are not the only manufacturer that produces cleaner running engines. So, it is simply misleading for PPEMA to claim, as they have recently, that all hand-held gas powered outdoor products will be banned from California."

Source: Ryobi