Oyster Bay, NY, Considers Leaf Blower Limits

The website for the group Huntington C.A.LM., for Citizens Appeal for Leafblower Moderation, has an item about efforts in the town of Oyster Bay, on Long Island, to limit summertime use of two-stroke gas-engine leaf blowers. What happens in Oyster Bay is surprisingly significant, since it's actually a collection of villages and hamlets that together make up one-third of Nassau County, include a population of nearly 300,000, and cover 30 ZIP codes.The C.A.L.M. item is based on a story by Ted Phillips in Newsday, which is here.

Sample from the story:

Planning and Development Commissioner Elizabeth Maccarone said the gas-powered leaf blowers, as opposed to quieter and lower-powered electric blowers, cause problems for residents. 
“When you drive around you see the dust ball, the dirt, the fertilizer and all that is being thrown up into the air and the children are outside playing, people are trying use their back yards,” Maccarone said. “It’s the noise, it’s what being thrown up into the atmosphere.”

The outlook on this QCDC site is that rules like these amount to "accelerating the inevitable." That is: as evidence of the hugely disproportionate environmental impact and public health damage caused by two-stroke engines mounts up, as these engines continue to be phased out or banned in nearly all uses other than lawn equipment, and as battery-powered electric alternatives rapidly increase in efficiency and affordability, dirty and noisy gas-powered equipment will be on its way out. Cities like Oyster Bay are headed where technology and public-health data will eventually lead many more communities.