New Castle NY Considers a Shift to Battery-Powered Equipment

The town of New Castle, in Westchester County north of New York City, is considering a mandated shift from gas-powered to battery-powered leaf blowers. (FYI, one of the hamlets included in New Castle is Chappaqua, known among other things as home of the Clintons.)

Martin Wilbur, of the local publication The Examiner, has a story describing the deliberations. The whole story is worth reading, but some samples:

At the opening of the hearing on Oct. 23, nearly all speakers advocated for the banning of all gas-powered leaf blowers by 2021 with only electric and battery-operated equipment allowed in the fall. The use of all leaf blowers would have been prohibited from May 15 to Sept. 30 starting next year.

However, there was strong pushback from landscapers and representatives from the industry when the hearing resumed on Nov. 13 who were alarmed at the sweeping changes.….

The leaf blower legislation was proposed by the SAB [Sustainability Advisory Board] as an initiative to reduce carbon emissions and to cut down on noise and particle pollution, which can negatively affect the health of both the equipment operators and residents.

Good luck to the citizens and city government of New Castle. As argued repeatedly on this site, the shift away from grossly polluting, antiquated, dangerously noisy gas-powered equipment to new battery models is a question of when, not if. We hope that for New Castle it is sooner rather than later.