The Nation's Capital Gears Up Again for a new Leaf Blower Policy

From the  Northwest Current .

From the Northwest Current.

The Northwest Current, an influential local-news publication in Washington D.C., has a report by Brady Holt on the progress of proposed legislation to phase out gas-powered leafblowers and shift to much cleaner, quieter electric models. The story is here. The measure has gained increasing support across the city, from Council members and local Advisory Neighborhood Commissions. What stands between it and enactment is the procedural matter of getting on committee dockets. As Holt says:

A bill pending before the D.C. Council would ban the use of gas-powered leaf blowers within the District starting in 2022, as requested by various community members who have cited concerns regarding both noise and pollution.

But in the time since Ward 3 member Mary Cheh first introduced the measure in January 2016, it has never made it to a committee hearing. The 2016 bill was referred to the Committee on Business, Consumer, and Regulatory Affairs, which had tentatively planned a hearing that fall. But leaf blowers were lost in the shuffle after the committee’s chair, Vincent Orange, lost his re-election bid, took another job and resigned from the council before completing his term.

Meanwhile the DC civic groups are re-revving up their efforts, to convert the support they've gained from elected officials into a hearing and Council vote.

A follow-up issue of the Northwest Current included a letter from Denise Paolella, of DC, in support of the measure:

I have especially resented the use of gas-powered leaf blowers in the dead of winter and in the summer when leaves and grass clippings are minimal and can be swept under bushes to rot and nourish the soil.

Unfortunately, landscaping companies have not chosen to regulate themselves or reduce their carbon footprint and therefore must be regulated. I hope that the 2016 bill introduced by Ward 3 D.C. Council member Mary Cheh will be assigned to another committee and that a hearing will be scheduled sometime in 2018.