The nationwide move to phase out hyper-polluting, technologically obsolescent, dangerously noisy gas-powered leafblowers is gaining momentum. In addition to the many previous instances reported in this space, most prominently Washington DC, three new communities are preparing to join the list.
Dallas: From a story by Corbett Smith in DallasNews.com
Gas-powered leaf blowers could take the fall for Dallas’ problems with loud noises….
The city already has rules that regulate the use of lawn equipment between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m. on weekdays and 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekends. But, Kingston said, “There’s a host of environmental and public health reasons not to have these around” at all.
Lancaster, California: From a story by Julie Drake in Antelope Valley Press:
The City Council will consider introducing an ordinance at Tuesday’s meeting that would require the implementation of electric-powered landscape equipment by landscape maintenance businesses within five years….
“Replacement of gasoline and diesel commercial landscaping equipment will reduce fuel consumption and spillage, exhaust emissions, noise, toxic solvents used for maintenance. As a result of this program the Antelope Valley will benefit from quieter, cleaner, and healthier neighborhoods, schools, businesses, and communities,”[City Manager Jason] Caudle’s report said.
Southampton Village, New York: From a column by Karl Grossman in Shelter Island Reporter:
Mayor Michael Irving and Trustee Kimberly Allan are sponsoring the legislation…. It limits the months (no warmer weather months) and times (no earlier than 8 a.m. or later than 6 p.m.) and days (no use on Sundays and federal and state holidays) when gas-powered leaf blowers can be used.
“It’s the new second-hand smoke,” Trustee Allan said. “Exhaust emissions from gas-powered leaf blowers can contain significant amounts of highly toxic compounds linked to certain cancers, asthma and other respiratory problems, as well as damage to the heart, lungs, and central nervous system,” notes the organization Grassroots Environmental Education. Toxins in their engine exhaust include cancer-causing benzene, toluene and formaldehyde, among other poisons.
A major city like Dallas, a medium-sized city in California’s inland “High Desert” region, Southampton Village on Long Island — these are three very different communities, to put it mildly. The trend is spreading. Congratulations to leaders in all three locales.